By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
According to the National Communications Authority (NCA), the monthly mobile internet usage in Ghana increased by 9.73% in April, this year. This brings mobile internet subscribers to 14,254,407 nationwide.
Mobile internet subscription for MTN increased substantially 3.51% to bring its market share 56.03%, representing 7,986,231 data lines for ending of April, this year.
Even though subscription for Airtel increased slightly, their market share decreased by 1.19% ending April, 2014 as a result of a significant increase in the month-on-month growth of data subscription base by 9.73%. Airtel data subscription for April was 1,966,706 with a market share of 13.80%.
By virtue of the 9.73% growth in month-on-month data subscription base, Tigo also increased subscribership to 1,723,459, yet experienced a decrease in market share from 14.99% in March, 2014 to 13.80% as at the end of April, 2014.
Expresso has 43,616 mobile internet subscribers, representing a market share of 0.31%, the lowest among the operators.
Vodafone on the other hand, experienced a similar fate as Airtel and Tigo. For the month under review Vodafone market share was 15.94%, representing 2,272,865 mobile internet subscribers in Ghana.
Glo’s market share decreased by 0.32% resulting in a reduced a market share of 1.83%. However, the CDMA operator had 261,530 mobile internet subscriptions at the end of April, 2014.
Ghana’s mobile internet penetration stands at 54.09%, as at the end of April, 2014, compared to Ghana’s population of 26,354,769 for April.
Meanwhile, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT facts and figures reports for 2014, mobile-broadband penetration expected to reach 32% by end of 2014, almost double the penetration rate just three years earlier (2011) and four times as high as five years earlier (2009).
In developed countries, mobile-broadband penetration will reach 84%, a level four times as high as in developing countries (21%).
ITU stated that mobile broadband remains the fastest growing market segment, with continuous double-digit growth rates in 2014. Mobile broadband is growing fastest in developing countries, where 2013/2014 growth rates are expected to be twice as high as in developed countries (26% compared with 11.5%).
By end 2014, the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions will reach 2.3 billion globally, almost 5 times as many as just six years earlier (in 2008). Out of this, 55% of all mobile-broadband subscriptions are expected to be in the developing world, compared with only 20% in 2008.
Mobile-broadband penetration levels are highest in Europe (64%) and the Americas (59%), followed by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (49%), the Arab States (25%), Asia-Pacific (23%) and Africa (19%).
The Americas region, with the second highest penetration levels, will be home to more than half a billion mobile broadband subscriptions by end 2014, and the growth rate will remain above 15%.
Although by the end of 2014 Asia-Pacific will be home to close to 1 billion mobile-broadband subscriptions, the region’s penetration rate lags behind other regions, including the Arab States and CIS.
All regions continue to show double-digit growth rates but Africa stands out with a growth rate of over 40%, twice as high as the global average.
By end of 2014, mobile-broadband penetration in Africa will have reached almost 20%, up from less than 2% four years earlier.