Mobile Phone Use Outpaces Internet Use in Africa

Ainsley Jones

Despite an infrastructure that largely fails to support the Internet, mobile phones are becoming increasingly popular on the continent of Africa. The region is the fastest-growing mobile phone market in the world.


People who don't have a computer or regular access to the Internet are turning to mobile phones to check e-mail, make bank transactions, check sports scores and buy and sell goods and services, DailyTech reports. Cell phone adoption in the region is outpacing Internet use, especially in rural areas.


Despite the recent introduction of broadband to East Africa, the need for mobile phone messaging applications remains, according to Jon Gossier, founder of Appfrica. An article from The New York Times notes that rural farmers in Uganda use messaging services to track banana disease and learn how to better protect their plantations.

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Oct 9, 2009 3:15 AM Richard Butler Richard Butler  says:

I spent a few months in Liberia, West Africa this summer.  I was there in 2006 and they only had 230,000 users on mobile phones.  By 2009, that number has gone up to over 470,000.  In 2008, the mobile phone providers started providing internet access through mobile phones.  Many people on the street would gather around someone with a internet enable mobile phone to watch a downloaded video or CNN clip.  This is mobile in africa today.  The local phone company just started providing internet access in May 2009.  The mobile phone operators are way ahead of the local phone company with more to come.


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