Opera Mobile hits 100m users in Africa

SMWAfrica Opera 2016 State of mobile web ReportState of the Mobile Web Africa, 2016 aims to shed light on the opportunities and challenges we experienced in bringing the next 100 million – and beyond – online. It will also take an in-depth look into some of the data and statistics of the African mobile web.Furthermore, the report highlights the usefulness and importance of data compression technologies, especially as it concerns high data costs, which has slowed down the adoption of mobile Internet.

“We believe data compression is as relevant and useful now as it was a decade ago – in fact, with the growth of smartphone penetration coupled with prohibitively high data costs, it’s a critical enabler,” said Richard Monday, VP for Opera, Africa.

The compression technology used in Opera Mini and Opera Max helps consumers save on data costs and addressed issues relating to congestion and page sizes.

In fact, the report states that in 2016, Opera’s compression technology has allowed South Africans to save approximately US$111m in data costs, with Nigerians and Kenyans saving US$280m and US$116m, respectively.

To get the full report, click HERE.

Fingerprint Biometric Technology Expanding In African Mobile Banking

mobile-phone-using-660x370London-based bank Standard Chartered plans this year to introduce biometric technology to customers in eight African countries so they can use fingerprints to access their mobile money — a process known as touch login — versus usernames and passwords.

The roll-out is expected to reach 5 million people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The bank claims it will be a first in most markets with the largest deployment of fingerprint biometric technology by any international bank, Fin Tech Innovation reported.

Pending regulatory approval, touch login will launch by the end of 2016 in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is already operational in Singapore, United Arab Emirates and India. It is also due to launch in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Pakistan. Read more

FinTech Start-Ups Still Dominate #DemoAfrica2016

indexTop African investors and entrepreneurs are set to take centre stage at the DEMO Africa 2016 event to share some insights around business growth and development of entrepreneurial skills.

The event is scheduled from 22nd to 26th August 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The series of events, which include an entrepreneur boot camp and a series of master-classes will be hosted in collaboration with the City of Johannesburg, the South African Department of science and Technology (DST) and the LIONS@FRICA partners.

Now in its fifth year, DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of LIONS@frica and aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem. DEMO Africa is the place where the most innovative companies from African countries get a platform to launch their products and announce to Africa and the world what they have developed.

The initiative has hosted 150 startups in the past four years raising more than US$14million in both investment and business value. “We have seen series impact in the last 4 years, one of the startups launched in 2014 has since gone to raise more than US$2 million and employed more than 150 people,” said Harry Hare, Executive Director, DEMO Africa.

This year’s event will feature some of the most prominent investors and entrepreneurs from Africa and the organizer’s hope to see deals being signed at the event. “It will be good to see some deals being made on the floor of the event. We have created a special area, which we call the “DealZone” where investors and entrepreneurs can have investment discussions,” said a source from DEMO Africa. More

Africa’s mobile subscription to reach 725 million by 2020

The ongoing GSMA 360 Africa Mobile Conference holding in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, has predicted that mobile subscription in Africa would reach 725 million in 2020, up from its current penetration level of 500 million, with Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, topping the list of highest number of mobile subscription on the African continent.

Nigeria’s mobile subscription, which currently stands at over 160 million, has been adjudged as the fastest growing telecoms market in Africa and the world.

Image result for mobile tech in africaDirector General, GSMA Mobile 360 Series, Mr. Mats Granryd, who announced the growth rate of mobile subscription in Africa, said the forecast to reach 725 million by 2020, accounted for 54 per cent of the expected population of Africa.

The prediction, he said was hinged on some trends that are currently driving mobile subscription in Africa.

“African mobile subscribers are rapidly migrating to mobile broadband networks and services, a result of ongoing network rollouts and the increasing availability of affordable mobile broadband devices and tariffs. Mobile broadband (3G/4G) accounted for just over a quarter of total connections at the end of 2015, but is expected to account for almost two-thirds by 2020,” Granryd said.

According to him, by mid-2016, there were 72 live 4G networks in 32 countries across Africa, half of which have launched in the last two years. The number of smartphone connections in Africa is forecast to more than triple over the next five years, rising from 226 million in 2015 to 720 million by 2020, Granryd added.

The predictions were the outcome of a recent research carried out by GSMA 360 Africa and made public in Tanzania. Read more