HomeBusiness DigestAfrican mobile phone connections up 6,6%

African mobile phone connections up 6,6%

AFRICA’S mobile phone connections rose by 15 million subscribers or 6,6% in the third quarter of 2007, according to figures from an industry trade body seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The GSM Association (GSMA) said subscrib

ers to GSM and CDMA technologies totalled 241,2 million in the third quarter, compared with 226,2 million in the second quarter, but added that market penetration remained low at 26%.

The body issued the statistics before a UN meeting next week on expanding broadband connectivity in Africa.

GSMA has said in the past that east Africans pay the continent’s highest mobile phone taxes, at between 25% and 30% compared with an average of 17% in the rest of Africa.

Countries such as Angola and Lesotho pay only 5%.

The mobile industry employs about half a million people in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, and accounts for between 3,5 and 5% of their economies, GSMA said.

Although mobile phone services account for more than 93% of total telecoms connections in the four nations, only 12%of people are actually connected, it said. — Reuters.

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