Nigeria, others to account for 40% global smartphone connections by 2020


September 21, 2017 | 1:15 pm
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By 2020, countries such as Nigeria, India, China, Indonesia and Pakistan will account for 40 percent of projected 1.6 billion new smartphone connections, according to a new research by the intelligence unit of GSMA.


GSMA Intelligence, an arm of GSM Association, is a global provider of mobile operator data, analysis and forecasts.


In its latest report ‘Global Mobile Trends 2017’, the research firm noted that smartphones account for over half of total connections globally, as two-thirds of the global populations are now mobile subscribers.


Growth however has not measured up with expectations, if anything, it is slowing down. According to the report, it took four years to move from 4 billion to 5 billion mobile subscribers in second quarter of 2017 and it might take longer to reach 6 billion.


Nevertheless, there are many bright spots for emerging markets in the future of smartphone connections.


GSMA Intelligence projects that an additional 620 million subscribers will be added by 2020. The emerging markets will be responsible for 40 percent of the increase.


“Lower cost smartphones from local manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo, OnePlus and Xiaomi in China, Micromax in India, and now AfriOne in Nigeria” is seen to be addressing the affordability problems in these markets.


The researchers at GSMA project that nearly one billion people will connect their mobile phones to access the internet by 2020. Again, Africa is expected to grow rapidly in this area.


The report acknowledges that despite near saturation of smartphone adoption and data usage in many advance markets, half of the world still lack access or are not on the internet at all.


The developing countries accounts for majority of the estimated 3.7 billion people that are not using the internet. In fact, India and sub-Saharan Africa share the bulk of 42% of the world’s unconnected, “with more than 60 percent of their respective populations not yet on the internet.”


“The largely rural populations and lack of fixed line infrastructure make extending coverage a longstanding challenge for many developing countries,” The report stated.


It further noted that, around a third of the 3.7 billion people that lack internet access live outside a 3G or 4G signal and so could be considered excluded because they do not have strong network coverage.


Challenges like affordability, content relevance, literacy skills and gender factors make up the limitations in the unconnected regions. Africa lies at the base of internet penetration on the global map.


And for Africa, a major limitation is a relevant local content which needs to support hundreds of dialects.



September 21, 2017 | 1:15 pm
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