In Kenya, Mobile Data is King

In fact, about 99% of all (actual) internet subscribers in the country get online via GPRS/EDGE and 3G on their mobile devices:

The distribution is lop-sided with the vast majority of these users being Safaricom subscribers, although it should be noted they did have a 7 year lead on the other mobile service providers to lay out their infrastructure and sign up eager customers:

Bharti Airtel will likely gain market share once they begin offering 3G data connectivity in March and with their Sh1/min promotional tariff offering, that’s riling up Safaricom’s chief, they’re bound to sign up quite a few new and disgruntled subscribers. Continue reading

8 Mobile Technologies to Watch for in 2009 and 2010

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Gartner Inc. has released a report of mobile technologies that will be quickly evolving over the next two years that may pose some issues on short-term strategies and policies.

  • Bluetooth 3.0 – Likely to be released in 2009 with compatible devices becoming available in 2010. Will feature low power consumption and faster transfer rates up to 480Mbits/s in close proximity.
  • Mobile User InterfaceOrganizations should expect more user demands for support of specific device models driven by interface preferences. They will also be an area of intense competition in 2009 and 2010, with manufacturers using UIs to differentiate their handsets and platforms. Continue reading

Africa Wired: Trends in Broadband and Mobile Telephony

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According to an ITU report on Telecommunication/ICT Markets and Trends in Africa, out of 1.1 billion internet users worldwide in 2006, Africa had 44 million or 3.8%. At the same point in time, while the world had 281 million broadband subscribers, Africa registered 1 million or about 0.4%.

In Asia the numbers stood at 104 million, 89 million in Europe and 80 million in the Americas. Growth in this sector has been hampered by high tarrifs and limited computer literacy.

Mobile telephony on the other hand has seen great advances in the last decade with significant year-on-year growth in penetration with subscribers per 100 inhabitants of 22.0. In 2006, Africa’s share stood at 7.2% of the 1.1 billion mobile subscribers.

The Telecommunication market in Africa is on the up-tick with a number of undersea fibre optic cable projects underway (SEACOM, TEAMS and EASSY) and increased competition among mobile service providers.

With mobile telephony currently outpacing growth in other ICT services, could the future (short-term, at least) of ICT in Africa be in wireless?