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Smartphones drives mobile digital revolution in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa has witnessed a total revolution of data uses as phone users accessed 76,000 TB (terabyte) of data per month, double the 2013 figure of 37,500 TB, according to June 2014 Sub-Saharan Africa Ericsson Mobility Report.

The report shows in 2015 the figures are expected to double again with mobile phone users accessing 147,000 TB per month.

“We are currently around 570 million subscriptions in the region and we have seen a mobile digital revolution with consumers, networks and even media companies are wakening up the possibilities of 3G and 4G technology,” the Head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, Fredrik Jejdling said in Dar es Salaam recently.

“We have seen the trend emerging over a few years but in the past twelve months the digital traffic has increased over 100 percent forcing us to revise our existing predictions.”

He said the rise of social media, content-rich apps and video content accessed from a new range of cheaper smartphone has prompted the rise.

In referring to the report, Mr Jejdling said, the report’s findings show that the voice call traffic in Sub-Saharan Africa will double with usage mobile data growing 20 times between 2013 and 2019, twice the anticipated global expansion.

By 2019 the report predicts that 75 per cent of mobile subscriptions will be internet inclusive (3G or 4G).
“This growth has been predicted following the launch in 2014 of a number of smartphone for under $50 by a number of major device manufacturers allowing expansion of 3G and 4G technology.

The report predicts that in just three years’ time 3G technology will become the dominant technology across the region,” he said.

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