Analysis from growth consulting company Frost and Sullivan predicts that Africa’s demand for mobile Internet access will increase between 40% and 50% between 2006 and 2009. It is thought that this expansion is due to the continent’s lack of sufficient fixed line structure and the reduced cost of handset and mobile internet service prices.
“The poor state of fixed line infrastructure is creating the potential for the African mobile internet market to boom,” states Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Spiwe Chireka. “Mobile internet has emerged as the solution to the continent’s last mile connectivity problem.”
Mobile Internet is much more cost-effective than fixed line infrastructure. Large areas can be covered with broadcast signals cheaply that allow users to access services on the go. But all the news is not good. The cost of mobile internet-compatible handsets and pricing for services puts the Internet out of reach for most of Africa’s population.
The poor infrastructure of some countries is holding back Internet availability. A lack of reliable electricity and inadequate road networks makes it difficult to access remote areas.
“Mobile internet service providers need to form partnerships with cellular companies as well as technology and infrastructure providers to see how best they can provide cheaper or more affordable handsets that will provide good quality service,” advises Chireka. “They should also form partnerships with governments across Africa and work out investment plans to improve telecommunications infrastructures so that deployment of such services is not limited.”
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of the investment analysis and growth opportunities in Africa’s mobile Internet access market, then send an email to Patrick Cairns, Corporate Communications, at patrick.cairns[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number, and email address. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email.
MobileCrunch reported on Africa’s Sierra Leone in August. See: Former Dark Continent Brightens with Mobile Internet.