March 8, 2011 / 11:05 AM / 9 years ago

Factbox: The African telecoms market

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s rapidly growing telecoms industry has become a symbol for the continent’s rising prospects.

Here are some facts about the African telecoms market, one of the world’s fastest growing markets for mobile telephones:

- There are more than 500 million mobile phone subscribers across the continent now versus 246 million in 2008

- In 2009 Africa had 32 million fixed telephones lines versus 8.2 million in 1998

- In 2000, the number of mobile phones surpassed that of fixed telephones

- The four biggest mobile phone markets are Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana

- Strategic investors in mobile industry include South Africa’s MTN (MTNJ.J), India’s Bharti Airtel (BRTI.BO), France Telecom FTE.PA via its Orange brand, Britian’s Vodafone (VOD.L) and Luxembourg’s Millicom MICC.O MICsdb.ST

- The continent had 4.4 million fixed terrestrial broadband users in 2009, according to research firm Africa Analysis.

- The largest fixed line broadband market is South Africa, followed in order of market size by Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia

- Only Mauritius and Seychelles have broadband penetration of more than 5 percent, due to promoting investment in broadband.

- In 2009, there were 17 million subscribers to 3G/3.5G handsets and data cards across Africa.

- South Africa had 4.5 million 3G-capable handsets in 2009.

- According to Facebook statistics tracker Socialbakers, there were around 10.5 million Facebook users in Africa in 2010.

- Mobile broadband subscribers in Africa — users of data cards and USB devices via cellular 3G networks — reached 3.3 million in September 2009 and were expected to break the 4 million milestone in the first quarter of 2010.

- In total, 4.54 Terabytes of cable capacity is available across 13 submarine cables in Africa. These will further expand to 24.5 Terabytes by 2011, according Africa Analysis.

Sources: AfricaNext, Dataxis Intelligence, International Telecommunications Union, Africa Analysis

Compiled by Gugulakhe Lourie; Editing by Hans Peters

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