African Smartphone Adoption

Introduction

African smartphone adoption at 87% by 2030 according to a new report.

Africa’s mobile economy is poised for significant growth, according to the recently released Mobile Economy 2023 report by the Global System Operators and Manufacturers Association (GSMA).

The report highlights sub-Saharan Africa as one of the regions set to experience the largest increase in smartphone adoption by the end of this year, with an estimated 87% adoption rate by 2030, up from 51% in 2022.

Additionally, sub-Saharan Africa and India are expected to account for nearly half of the world’s new mobile subscribers in the next decade.

Kegan Peffer, CEO of Adoozy Power, a company offering mobile power banks for rent in South Africa, attributes this growth to the rising youth population in Africa and more competitive pricing in the mobile sector. The market for mobile power banks is predicted to expand with over 600 million users in the next five years.

Furthermore, the report indicates that mobile data traffic per mobile in Africa is set to almost quadruple, with a 3.9-fold increase by 2028. This growth means an increase in mobile data usage from 4.6 gigabytes (GB) per user per month to 18 GB.

Smartphone usage is no longer limited to connectivity alone.

It has become an integral part of various aspects of our lives, including work, shopping, financial management, and socializing.

Moreover, the mobile industry has been committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since 2016, with a current achievement of 53% of its potential contribution to these goals. The industry places significant emphasis on digital inclusion and innovation.

The advent of 5G technology is expected to revolutionize connectivity for both businesses and consumers.

The GSMA forecasts that 5G connections will double over the next two years, with deployments in over 30 countries in 2023 alone. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to have approximately 213 million 5G subscriptions by 2030.

Damian Michael, CEO of Cape Town-based IT company Innovo Networks, believes that the swift rollout of 5G in Africa will greatly benefit businesses and aid post-pandemic recovery.

While fiber connections are currently the most reliable, the integration of 5G wireless networks and fiber-optic networks will create a holistic communication system, enhancing reliability and affordability for South African businesses and citizens.

Despite infrastructure challenges, African smartphone adoption is promising

The advantages of 5G extend beyond improved connectivity, with significant socioeconomic impacts anticipated.

Sectors such as education, healthcare, fintech, and climate change are expected to benefit greatly. By 2030, 5G technology could contribute approximately $26 billion to Africa’s economy.

As African smartphone adoption and sales of mobile devices continue to rise, the demand for power solutions grows. Peffer highlights the inadequacy of smartphone battery technology to meet the processing power requirements of advanced smartphones.

Furthermore, South Africa’s electricity crisis necessitates alternative power solutions for staying connected. Innovations such as solar panels for smartphone charging, off-the-grid power bricks for household devices, and fast-charging mobile power banks for rent are filling the gap in the limited electricity supply.

Wrapping it Up

Africa is on an upward trajectory, addressing power challenges while embracing the digital future of a mobile-first economy. With substantial growth projected in smartphone adoption, mobile data usage, and the implementation of 5G technology, Africa is poised to become a major player in the global mobile economy.

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