Mobile Generating Economic Growth


The mobile industry continues to grow rapidly, with a total of 3.6 billion mobile subscribers at the end of 2014. Half of the world’s population now has a mobile subscription up from one in five a decade before. An additional one billion subscribers are predicted in the coming five years at approximately 60% global penetration rate according to the latest GSMA report on mobile economy.

The world is seeing a rapid technology transformation to both higher speed mobile broadband networks and the increased adoption of smartphones. Driven by the growing range of new services and applications, data traffic is expected to see an almost ten-fold increase by 2019. Operators have invested heavily in their infrastructure over the past three years, with capital expenditure set to increase further to support mobile broadband network deployments totaling $1.4 trillion in 2020.

Mobile is a major driver of economic progress and welfare globally. In 2014, the mobile industry generated 3.8% of global gross domestic product (GDP), a contribution that amounts to over $3 trillion. It also supports 12.8 million jobs. In 2020, mobile’s contribution to the economy will grow at a faster rate than the rest of the global economy, contributing 4.2% to the world’s GDP by the end of the period. The 3G coverage is set to reach 86% of the population by 2020 while 4G is now being built out more rapidly enhancing service delivery function.

New technologies and creative mobile business models are expected to generate even more profound innovations, with mobile increasingly linking service providers and customers. For business mobile apps are revolutionary to easily introduce their services and products creating easy access. With such innovative initiation Jovago.com Africas leading online hotel booking company introduced mobile hotel booking app. The App allowed customers to find exclusive rates among 25,000 hotels and 200,000 hotels worldwide. On the other hand buying and selling has become easier with mobile apps saving time and transaction cost.

Companies are now taking advantage of growing number of subscribers. At the end of 2014, the number of people using the mobile internet reached 2.4 billion. This is expected to rise to 3.8 billion by 2020, driven by growth in developing countries at the end of 2014, half of the world’s population had at least one mobile subscription. By 2020, around three-fifths of the global population will have a mobile subscription, with close to one billion new subscribers added over the period connecting people without boundaries.

Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for the majority of digital services globally with 53%. In 2014, 22 new services launched while 60 and 58 services were launched in 2013 and in 2012 respectively. Nevertheless the region remained to have lowest mobile penetration rate with subscription growth of 12%. However compelled by the increasing affordability of devices, the future growth is estimated to be 2.9 billion connections by 2020.


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