Thousands, if not millions of businesses are now partially or fully moving online. Actually, we can safely say that a business that does not have an online presence is losing out on a lot of opportunities towards improvement. And the world is nowhere near the end of this trend as communication companies make it easier to get online and transact.
The mobile broadband space is continuously building an ecosystem for doing business, and especially now making mobile devices to support user migration to 4G and 5G network technology. As we have mentioned before, a good mobile phone is no longer a luxury but a basic requirement with which to get through life.
This was the message that strongly emerged from the fifth Huawei Africa Mobile Broadband Salon that took place at the online Africacom Africa Tech Festival from 9-12 November. Delegates heard that the ICT industry had never been more important to society, and that it was now at the forefront of social development and restoring economies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Connectivity is the foundation for digital transformation. It’s about time that we address mobile connectivity not just in terms of speed or capacity or coverage, but also in terms of ecosystem accessibility, affordability, convenience and value.”
Mohamed Madkour, Vice President, Carrier Business Marketing and Solutions for Huawei.
The event heard that according to GSM, the number of 4G users in Africa was expected to triple in the next five years, with population coverage increasing from 55% today to 80% in 2025. As it is, since the pandemic came our way, the demand for education tablets had exploded. This shows that people are indeed adopting more effective technology at a fast rate. What’s more, the fastest growth of the 4G user base is likely to come from Africa which has many 2G users.
Subsidy programmes from manufacturers, combined with competitively priced entry-level devices would lower the threshold for first-time smartphone buyers, accelerate 4G migration and open up vast opportunities for business, and for human development.