Windhoek-According to the latest research by global research firm, Dataxis, there is a steady rise in the mobile internet connectivity in Africa, thanks to an increase in the number of people accessing 4G technology through 4G enabled mobile SIM cards.
The research firm, in a report released on June 20, says the increase in 4G mobile internet connectivity is important because it allows for households who would otherwise not have access to internet because of the prohibitive costs associated with acquiring internet at home.
“Broadband connectivity in Africa will be achieved almost exclusively through mobile, with only a few households equipped with PCs and wireline broadband. This growth in broadband connectivity will enable new players to thrive and reach their end-user in an environment where data access is no longer a hurdle,” said the report.
The firm says 4G mobile subscribers are expected to reach 296 million by 2022 compared to 24 million for 2016. Dataxis also forecasts that a 4G network will be accessible in all 54 countries.
Yet, despite the forecasted increase Dataxis says the increase is not being reflected across the entire continent, with the research firm noting that some parts of Africa, especially north Africa, are slow in setting up infrastructure that give access to 4G connectivity.
“The 4G penetration remains indeed very low in the rest of Africa,” the firm says.
According to Dataxis, in 2016, most 4G subscribers came from a few leading countries in northern and southern Africa. Significant disparities in 4G development and adoption still exist depending on the country, for instance, Morocco, with its 3.4 million 4G subscribers, accounts for 14 percent of total 4G subscribers in Africa.
Dataxis is a global firm specializing in the delivery of detailed market research, high quality events, and powerful media covering the TV and Telecom industries in more than 200 countries.
“The number of 3G enabled SIMS will continue to rise simultaneously, particularly in countries with low broadband connectivity, but the growth rate will slowly decrease with the arrival of 4G network. Mobile broadband subscribers are therefore expected to grow into the main part of mobile subscribers with 54 percent of total mobile SIMS,” says Dataxis in the report.
The adoption of 4G goes along with another relevant change which is the increase in smart device penetration. The research outlines a surge from 24 percent of the population in 2016 up to 60 percent of the population in 2022.