Sub-Saharan Africa: Access to mobile phones is expected to double by 2020

Jun 09, 2015

The number of people in the region with access to mobile phones will reach 80%.

The share of people in sub-Saharan Africa with access to mobile phones is expected to double by 2020 to almost 80 per cent, according to GSMA, the trade association of telecoms.

But to achieve this, some public aid will be needed to reach the most remote areas, said Mortimer Hope, director at GSMA Africa, quoted by Reuters.

He believes that African governments are sometimes slow to set up the regulatory framework needed for mobile phone expansion.

"It's very early days for data but we would like it be everywhere you have voice. The extra physical infrastructure deployment is not as big as you would think." he explained.

Governments should also consider cutting taxes on web-enabled handsets to make them more affordable to consumers on the poorest continent, he added.

A higher penetration of mobile phones should thus accelerate the adoption of mobile banking.

"There are currently two and a half billion unbanked people in the world. One billion of these people already have access to a mobile phone and so a potential means of accessing financial services," said Alix Murphy, analyst at money transfer company WorldRemmit.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801790401-ADNFCR