Africa Technology, Media & Telecoms (TMT)

Game of Phones – Africa Mobile Consumer Survey 2016

As smartphones become ever more embedded in the lives of Africans, we see new opportunities and challenges for the mobile sector, retailers, advertisers, financial institutions and beyond. Our consumer survey on Africa’s mobile industry reveals a number of interesting, overarching themes, each with its own set of business implications.

Overarching themes from our survey findings

  1. Mobile Internet is dominant, WiFi is growing, but fibre is the dark horse;
  2. Reliability and Speed in a brand-neutral continent;
  3. Device ownership habits in Africa – what we buy, sell, cherish or donate;
  4. Smartphones are not just a part of our lives, they are our lives.

The report dives deeper into each of these themes, showing results for Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe and expanding on what it all means for business.

Implications for mobile network operators

  • African Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) should create business models around smartphone users, and brace themselves for the rise of the data exclusives and data-centric phone users;
  • As network quality and coverage becomes “table-stake” in urban areas, customer service is fast emerging as a key differentiator in choosing or changing network operators
  • As African consumers use more and more apps, there is room for businesses to take centre stage with a platform for life. This handles information, entertainment, communication, education, purchases and financial services, all in one place, evolving its value through sophisticated customer and data analytics;
  • In the MNO world where competitive pressure is intense and where an app economy is taking over with customers having access to a plethora of “free” assets; there is an opportunity to embrace more disruptive demonetised MNO business models that create value in alternate ways and give away what MNOs used to sell.

You can access the full Game of Phones report here. I also invite you to connect with me to discuss the opportunities and implications of the findings of this report on your business in more detail.

Mark Casey
Global Media & Entertainment Leader
Tel: +27 (0) 11 806 5000

Arun Babu
Africa Telecommunications Leader
Tel: +27 (0) 11 806 5400

About the author


Leave a Comment