The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) presented new statistics on the telecom sector in Africa at the recent Africa Telecom conference held in Cairo. According to the ITU survey, Africa
has also become the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market. Over the past five years the continent’s mobile phone use has increased at an annual rate of 65 per cent, which is twice the global average. This is good new for telecom investors in Africa.
This remarkable growth — the African market is expanding nearly twice as fast as Asia’s — has confounded analysts and even service operators. The ITU forecast that there would be 300 million users by the end of 2020.
Before mobile phones, vast swaths of Africa were communication voids. There are just three landlines per hundred Africans
and most are expensive and unreliable. By contrast, Europe has 40 fixed phones per 100 people.
Sale of mobile phones in Africa is set to more than double in the next three years. The rise is expected to be bolstered by expansion of local and regional economies and more service providers rolling out networks across the region.