10+ things you need to know about the world’s fastest growing mobile region


Sub-Saharan Africa will remain the world’s fastest-growing mobile region over the coming years, according to a new study published by GSMA.

This is so because millions of young African consumers will become mobile users for the first time.

Some key study findings include:

  1. The region adding 160 million new unique mobile subscribers by 2025, bringing the total number to 623 million
  2. The number of mobile subscribers reached 456 million in 2018
  3. Subscriber additions will be concentrated in high-growth markets such as Nigeria and Ethiopia
  4. Sub-Saharan Africa generated almost $150 billion in economic value last year – equivalent to 8.6% of the region’s GDP
  5. Revenue generation from mobile subscribers to reach $185 billion (9.1% of GDP) by 2023
  6. Around 239 million people, equivalent to 23% of the region’s population, use the mobile internet on a regular basis
  7. Smartphones accounted for 39% of mobile connections] in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2018
  8. 3G will overtake 2G to become the leading mobile technology in Sub-Saharan Africa this year
  9. 4G will account for almost one in four connections by 2025
  10. Mobile operators to spend $60 billion on network infrastructure and services between 2018 and 2025 – almost a fifth of this total being invested in new 5G networks
  11. Sub-Saharan Africa’s mobile ecosystem supports around 3.5 million jobs, directly and indirectly

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Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA, said: “A new generation of youthful ‘digital natives’ across Sub-Saharan Africa are set to fuel customer growth and drive adoption of new mobile services that are empowering lives and transforming businesses.

“With mobile technology at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa’s digital journey, it is essential for policymakers in the region to implement policies and best practices that ensure sustainable growth in the mobile industry, and enable the transition to next-generation mobile networks.”

You can access the full report here