Africa has become the second most connected region in the world in terms of mobile subscription count, up from fourth place at end of 2010, according to new research by Informa Telecoms and Media. There were over 616 million mobile subscriptions in Africa at the end of September, which means that the mobile market on the continent is second only to Asia-Pacific in terms of mobile subscription numbers.
Africa’s mobile market is forecast to pass one billion mobile subscription in 2016 according to the latest forecast.
There is a strong trend for Africa mobile subscribers to have multiple SIM cards and consequently the number of unique users of mobile services on the continent is smaller than the number of subscriptions. The number of unique users in Africa at end-2016 is forecasted to be 572.35 million.
Nigeria will continue to be Africa’s biggest mobile market by subscriptions, with a forecasted 152.09 million subscriptions at end-2016. Egypt will hold onto its position as Africa’s second-biggest mobile market, with a forecasted 118.03 million subscriptions at end-2016. South Africa, the continent’s third largest mobile market, will have 80.56 million mobile subscriptions at end-2016.
Africa is forecasted to have a mobile penetration rate of 86.92% at end-2016, still lower than in other regions.