5 Facts About Mobile Penetration In Sub Saharan Africa

Mobile phones are extremely vital to today’s world. They have made our lives easier, bringing the world closer. Even though they are used in larger numbers in developed countries, the developing countries are also experiencing an increase in mobile penetration. Mobile penetration can be defined in three ways:

  • Sim Card Penetration: The total number of sim cards in a country or region as a percentage of the number of people in that region.
  • Unique Subscriber Penetration: The number of unique individuals who own a mobile phone as a percentage of the total number of people.
  • Mobile Access Penetration: The number of people who have access to a mobile phone, even though they do not own one themselves as a percentage of the total population.

These three definitions are interchangeable depending on the situation and should all be considered at the same time to understand the total mobile penetration. Like most other countries, mobile penetration had increased dramatically in sub-Saharan Africa as well due to the provision of the Airtel Kenya bundles.

5 Facts You Ought To Know

1. Number

At the end of 2019, a total of 477 million people have subscribed to a mobile network accounting for about 45% of the population.  These numbers continue increasing due to the operators’ continued investment with services like the Airtel Kenya bundle. Smartphone adoption rise as well About 50% of the total mobile connections have access to smartphones.

2. Economic Growth

Other than connectivity, mobile networks have engaged with the government and partnered up with several businesses to provide services for increasing the GDP. Mobile services increased the GDP of Sub Saharan Africa to up to 9% which amounted to over $155 billion added.

3. Job Creation

The increase of mobile networks has provided more job opportunities. A total of 1.7 million people are employed by mobile service companies. 1.2 million Is directly employed while the rest in the distribution and retention of the services.

4. Connectivity

In 2020, Sub Saharan Africa launched its first 5G connection availability. But the adoption of 4G is relatively low so the main focus of the companies is to increase the 4G connection amount the population.

5. Media & Entertainment

The increased usage of mobile internet and smartphones are pushing several mobile operators to develop media and entertainment apps. In July of 2020, Airtel Kenya developed Airtel TV video-on-demand streaming service. MTN is currently pushing the development of gaming and media channels.

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