Mobile Technology in West Africa.


In the middle of the year, Twinpine in conjunction with iHub Research published report and accompanying Infograph on the state of mobile in West Africa. The Infograph gives a general overview of the mobile space in the region, showing the impact of improved technology on mobile uptake in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the past decade.

Insights from the research:

As at the second quarter of 2012, Nigeria had a mobile penetration rate of 68%, Ghana led the region having 97% penetration while Cote d'ivoire with 71%. However, the impressive penetration rates of Ghana and Cote d'ivoire didn’t translate to an impressive number of mobile subscribers, as Nigeria led the region (and the whole of Africa) with over 101 million subscribers, while Ghana followed with 24 million and Cote d'ivoire trotted closely with 21 million subscribers.

The increase in the adoption of mobile phones has unsurprisingly reduced the use of fixed lines. Over the past few years, fixed line subscribers has fallen in Nigeria, from 1.10% of the population being active users in 2007 to only 0.40% in 2011.

The growth of mobile internet is apparent as more and more internet users are accessing the web via mobile. In Nigeria, about 26% of internet users in 2010 browse the web via mobile, up from 10% in 2008 and this rose to 42.88% in 2011 while mobile internet users in Ghana rose from 1% in 2008 to 9% in 2010. In 2011, the 16.02% of internet users accesses the web via mobile. However, in Cote d’Ivoire, it can be seen that over the years, more people have been accessing the internet via mobile devices than desktop.
Nokia still rules the device manufacturer market in the region. Reasons are not far-fetched: their devices are cheap and very affordable for every social class, very easy to use, plus they have been very consistent, hence, posing as a very strong competitor for other manufacturers. Recently, they have launched their Lumia and Asha touch series in the region, which many mobile users are embracing.

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