Kenya has been listed among three African countries that are expected to play a key role in driving internet usage beyond a billion people by the end of the decade.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2014, internet usage in Sub-Saharan Africa is on the rise with the number of subscriptions set to reach at least 930 million by 2019.
The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) will remain the dominant technology in Sub-Saharan Africa until 2018, due to the dominance of lower income consumers using 2G-enabled handsets, according to the study.
The report also reveals that the total number of mobile subscriptions will exceed the world’s population come next year. Global mobile subscriptions have continued to grow 7 percent year-on-year and 2 percent quarter-on-quarter with the total mobile subscriptions expected to grow from 6.8 billion in 2014 to 9.2 billion by the end of 2019.
Mobile broadband subscriptions are also on the rise and estimated to reach 7.6 billion by the end of 2019, representing more than 80 percent of total mobile subscriptions.
Usage of smart phones is also on the rise with total smartphone subscriptions being 1.9 billion in 2013. This number is expected to grow to 5.6 billion in 2019.
According to the report, a notable increase in subscriptions in Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa is one of the main reasons for this remarkable increase in the use of smart phones as medium-high income users in these markets exchange their basic phones for smartphones.
Lower prices of smartphones have also made them accessible for many people.
The report maintains that, even with the increase in the use of smartphones, the majority of mobile subscriptions today – about 4.5 billion – are still for basic phones. However in two years’ time the number of smartphone subscriptions will exceed those for basic phones and by 2019 the number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach 5.6 billion.