African mobile market continues to strengthen its position.
The rapid growth of the African mobile market shows now sign of stopping, as mobile Internet use is now as widely used as fixed line internet in the western part of the country.
Research commissioned by Twinpine found that mobile subscriptions in Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast more than doubled between 2007 and 2011, bringing the combined total to more than 130 million. The report also showed that in Nigeria, mobile internet usage stands at 26 per cent, with fixed internet usage only marginally more popular at 28 per cent. Similarly, fixed Internet subscriptions in Ghana are currently at ten per cent, with mobile subscriptions at nine per cent.
However, in spite of the growing uptake for mobile Internet usage, overall Internet usage in all three countries is still below half of the total population across the countries in question. One of the key reasons behind such low usage is the lack of fixed line Internet infrastructure throughout much of Africa, which clearly belies the continuing uptake for mobile Internet subscriptions.
Another major driving force behind the uptake for mobile web subscriptions is the growing number of young people who want to access social networks such as Facebook and Twitter from their mobile devices. Such a subscriber base will also go some way to ensuring that the growing mobile market in Africa continues to prosper.
Elo Umeh, CEO of Twinpine and co-chair of the Mobile Marketing Association, West Africa, said: “Poor fixed line infrastructure in Africa has acted as a barrier to internet adoption for the majority of people, and is the reason for limited broadband adoption across the continent. However the exponential growth of the mobile market in Africa is playing a critical role in closing the digital divide by giving the African population widespread access to a rich variety of affordable mobile technologies. As the research shows, mobile internet is set to quickly become the primary method of going online.”
He added: “This research highlights a very important point – that now is the time for international brands and publishers to tap into the African mobile boom to maximise the revenue potential of mobile advertising. Already Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast are achieving high monthly advertising impressions – Nigeria is especially strong with 3 billion impressions a month. However, to ensure brands deliver the most impactful campaigns it is critical they do not approach Africa as a single entity; they must develop a rich understanding of each and every one of the continent’s 54 nations. Working with the local mobile advertising networks like Twinpine will give them instant access to a wealth of local knowledge from the start, greatly reducing time to market.”