A few weeks ago I posted a
thought-piece on LinkedIn and Knect365 about the mobile future of video. Now I'd like to explore some reasons why Africa might be of particular interest for that mobile video future.
1. Africa is 'The Mobile Continent'
Africa counts a staggering 1.13 billion mobile subscriptions. This currently makes it the world's second largest continent in terms of mobile subscriptions, second only to Asia. The mobile penetration rate was just approaching 50 percent in 2010 and is now expected to pass 100 percent in 2021.
What makes Africa different then other big mobile markets, is that Africa is truly 'mobile first' and often even 'mobile only'. Even in remote regions where electricity isn't particularly reliable or even present, mobile phones can be found. As such, mobile phones form the first - and sometimes only - contact many Africans have with the internet. This means that in some case, phones aren't just an option to consume video content - they're literally the only option, even with the growth of satellite TV in countries like Nigeria and Ghana. With 84% of broadband in Africa accessed via smartphones and tablets, mobile devices are the logical place to present Africans with video.
PS. A recent example of just how important mobile internet is for the population of many African nations can be seen in Zimbabwe. Here the government enforced new mobile data floor pricing only to reverse it days later after massive public outcry.
In an effort to cement its position as the gateway between Egypt and the rest of Africa, Liquid Telecom plans significant data center and network investments in the country during the next three years.
Investments are being made that will benefit the citizens of Africa, improve economies and perhaps most importantly give the people of Africa the opportunity to play their part in the Fourth Industrial revolution.