Mobile Phone Growth Puts African continent in Limelight

Last month the world welcome its 5 billionth mobile phone subscriber. A closer look at the numbers and growth behind this milestone revealed something a lot of us have been observing for a while: Africa's mobile market is growing at an unprecedented rate. While the continent only lay claim to some 16 million subscribers in 2000, they are now home to half a billion subscribers. Underlying this surge is a trend toward using data services more than voice calls. A study that was released by Ericsson in December of last year indicates that the use of data services will only continue to grow---over the last two years it has grown by 280 percent and this figure is projected to double annually over the next five years. Africa's lack of established first generation telecommunication infrastructure makes it ripe for continued mobile phone growth. This reality coupled with coupled with the development in mobile phone technology such as the 3G network which will enable deployment of advanced applications such as video conferencing, mobile TV services and tele-medicine that require high speed connections, the uptake of mobile phone technology is expected to increase exponentially.