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Mobile phone Internet use doubles in Africa

By The Rainbow
Mobile phone Internet use doubles in Africa
Mobile phone Internet use doubles in Africa
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Researchers say increase will take place in next five years and will be double the rate of growth in rest of world. (Photographs: Dan Chung via The Guardian, left, and Sven Torrfin via The Wall Street Journal, right)

By the end of 2014, it is forecast that there will be more than 635m mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa's claim to be the ' mobile continent ' is even stronger than previously thought, with researchers predicting internet use on mobile phones will increase 20-fold in the next five years - double the rate of growth in the rest of the world.

People in Africa use mobiles for online activities that others normally perform on laptops or desktop computers as the technology overcomes weak or non-existent landline infrastructure in large swaths of the world's poorest continent.

Declining prices of handsets and data, along with faster transmission speeds, mean Facebook, Twitter and cash transfer services can reach both the growing African middle class and the remotest rural areas, where villagers often find ingenious ways of keeping phones charged. Consumers in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria are increasingly using video and media services on newly affordable smartphones.

The Guardian (UK)