781 million mobile subscriptions in Africa

September 5, 2013 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Nigeria and South Africa are two of the continent’s most connected countries in terms of mobile phone subscriptions and have helped to push up overall numbers on the continent to over 781-million subscriptions. This is according to Ericsson’s annual Mobility report.


Africa’s mobile subscriptions reached 781-million (Image source:

Nigeria has been the fastest growing country on the continent, adding more mobile subscriptions than any other country. In the second quarter of this year, the nation added 20-million new connections.

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country has 181-million connected lines and over 120-million active lines.

On a global scale, Africa is the third-most connected in terms of mobile subscriptions, surpassed only by Asia Pacific and China, who currently have 1.28 billion and 1.17 billion mobile subscriptions respectively.

According to the Report, with the current growth rate of mobile phone subscriptions, it is expected that the global growth rate will increase by 6% by 2018 and reach the 9-billion subscription mark.

Although worldwide mobile penetration reportedly reached 6.5-billion (91%), “the actual number of mobile subscriptions is around 4.5 billion, since many have several subscriptions,” claims the Report.

Ericsson’s Head of Strategic Marketing and Intelligence, Patrick Cerwall, said “China alone accounted for 30 per cent of net additions, adding 30 million subscriptions; Indonesia added nine million; India added eight million; Bangladesh added five million; Nigeria added four million in terms of net additions.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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