Mobile phone has transformed consumer behavior across sub-saharan africa :-Ericsson consumer Report

Ericsson consumer lab that has close to 20 years experience of studying people’s behaviors and values, including the way they act and think about IcT products and services. Ericsson  consumer lab provides unique insights on market and consumer trends has published a study on the mobile devices.

The mobile phone has transformed consumer behavior across sub-saharan africa. It exemplifies technology convergence and is slowly becoming the central device in the daily lives of most consumers in the region. many consumers believe that their mobile phone is an extension of themselves and they would feel lost without it.The following report highlights how mobile phones have

created and promoted connectivity in sub-saharan africa from a consumer perspective. The report will focus on smartphones, the internet, financial services and applications.

In this report we refer to smartphones, basic phones and feature phones. smartphones allow access to internet and data rich services, whereas basic phones only allow calls and texts. Feature phones are between basic and smartphones, and are typically characterized by one or more stand-out features such as music or camera capability

Access to Information and communication Technology (IcT) in sub-saharan africa is both inadequately and  unequally distributed, giving rise to what is referred to as the digital divide. This is amplified by the economic inequality between the different consumer segments in the market. The access, use and knowledge of IcT in the region is relatively unique for every individual, household, business and geographical area.

The mobile phone, and more specifically the smartphone, has the potential to bridge this digital divide by providing universal access and connectivity to all citizens, regardless of location or economic status

Key Findings

Influential devices mobile phones continue to be an extremely influential technology across sub-saharanafrica, and basic and feature phones still dominate the mobile handset market. Their low

cost, multi-functionality and the region’s lack of fixed-line infrastructure has propelled the mobile phone’s status as the leading device.


Smartphones on the rise an increasing range of low-cost smartphones are entering the mobile handset

market. This will be key to the trend of growing internet usage across the region.

Popular services The internet is becoming an important medium for communication and access to information. The top three communication services used (other than voice) are sending/receiving sms messages, social networking and browsing the internet.

Aspiring users mobile phone users who are currently not using certain mobile services such as taking photos and video, listening to music and emailing show the most interest in using them in the future.

A promising future The success of financial applications such as Kenya’s m-Pesa has put sub-saharan

africa on the map. Today, mobile banking is primarily used for buying airtime, transferring money

and receiving bank/credit card notifications. but the trend of conducting financial transactions via mobile phones has a promising future, and consumers could eventually use them to pay for school fees, fast food, groceries or fuel.

Evolving apps: apps are likely to evolve beyond entertainment and communication. They have the potential to fill service gaps in many sectors such as education and transport, and consequently change lives.



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