The number of mobile subscriptions in Africa will exceed 750m by the end of Q4, 2012, according to forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media. That represents a growth of 17.5 per cent, higher than any other region, and well above the world average, of 10.8 per cent.
The number of subscriptions in Africa is predicted to break the 1bn mark during 2015, and reach 1.13bn by the end of 2017.
Africa is the second biggest region for mobile subscriptions in the world, behind Asia-Pacific, having having overtaken both Western Europe and Latin America during 2011, but its mobile penetration rate is still the world's lowest (67.6 per cent, compared to the world average of 91 per cent).
Adoption of mobile data services, meanwhile, is growing. Operators in five African countries – Angola, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania – have launched LTE services in recent months, though the subscription numbers for these services remain very low, at an estimated 5,000.
Nigeria, which passed the 100m subscriber milestone in Q2, will continue to be Africa’s biggest mobile market – at 169m subscriptions by the end of 2017 – followed by Egypt, with 129.4m.