According to a study by the GSMA last month, the mobile sector brought in over $100 billion in value to the Sub-Saharan region of Africa.
The inhibitors to mobile subscriber growth have been and will continue to be due to operator competitiveness and regulatory restrictions in some countries.
It, however, stated that operators can still manage to make some income on data services as they try to expand their mobile service coverage.
Mobile technology has been proven to solve some of the region’s problems, improving the way things are done. There are more mobile based services being provided, with the invention of apps following right behind.
The report also predicts that mobile subscriber bases will increase by over 6.2% in the next 5 years, from about 386 million uniques subscribers to over 518 million by 2020:
A greater digital inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa will lead to:
- economic and infrastructure development
- increased employment and productivity
- increased access to services, like healthcare and education
There is also an expected increment in
- mobile broadband connections, from 24% to 57% of the population in the region,
- and in smartphone usage, from 160million users to 540 million.
In Zambia, we can already see mobile technology playing its role
in improving the lives of citizens. For example, mobile money is slowly becoming a payment system that could save users lots of time. We have seen banks switch to mobile platforms, utility companies are signing up to be mobile money-enabled merchants, and more and more mobile applications are sprouting.
We are still a long way to go from being one of the most technologically advanced nations, but one step towards the goal is all we have to take. It’s not easy to set up infrastructure to support new technology, nor does it come any easy to train people on how to use it.
Through partnerships between mobile industry players, there is a chance that Zambia can make a huge sum of the over $100 billion made by the mobile sector in the coming year.