Africa finally pays its own way — with a mobile phone

Mobile is big. Even bigger than you think. No technology in the history of mankind has achieved the reach and penetration globally that rivals that of the mobile phone. According to the International Telecommunications Union, at the end of 2011, there were approximately six billion mobile phone subscriptions. This is equivalent to 87% of the world’s population and a huge increase from 5.4-billion in 2010 and 4.7-billion mobile subscriptions in 2009.

Initial excitement about the rise of the mobile phone was dominated by talk of the rise of mobile voice at the expense of fixed line operators, and then more recently by the second most used service on a mobile phone — mobile messaging, dominated by SMS. What is currently generating the most interest in mobile is the rise of mobile money.

Africa finally pays its own way — with a mobile phone

Africa

Mobile is big. Even bigger than you think. No technology in the history of mankind has achieved the reach and penetration globally that rivals that of the mobile phone. According to the International Telecommunications Union, at the end of 2011, there were approximately six billion mobile phone subscriptions. This is equivalent to 87% of the world’s population and a huge increase from 5.4-billion in 2010 and 4.7-billion mobile subscriptions in 2009.

Initial excitement about the rise of the mobile phone was dominated by talk of the rise of mobile voice at the expense of fixed line operators, and then more recently by the second most used service on a mobile phone — mobile messaging, dominated by SMS. What is currently generating the most interest in mobile is the rise of mobile money.

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