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