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Tuesday, Jul 16th

'Mobility can drive Africa's banking, media sectors'

Jeijdling Fredrik President Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mobility can be a driver of two key sectors in Africa namely banking and TV & Media, says Fredrik Jejdling, president of Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa.

Jejdling made his comments at the AfricaCom conference in Cape Town, South Africa, and said the two sectors can expect to be impacted by Information Communications Technology in a big way.

Over the last 20 years the ICT industry has connected about 5 billion people on voice, said Jejdling.

However, the telecoms services firm expects 50 billion devices to be connected by 2020.

Jejdling explained that basic foundation to drive growth on the continent is to drive mobile broadband.

He noted that mobile broadband growth in sub-Saharan Africa is currently 76 million but it has the potential to grow and reach 710 million subscriptions.

"The areas we feel will be impacted by mobile are access to information, financial services and the consumption of TV & Media," he stated.

"Today the affordability levels in Africa are such that it prevents people from consuming media to a very large extent.

"The packaging and affordability in relation to set-top-boxes, TVs, etc are such that you can't connect people and distribute TV & Media in an effective way," he said.

According to Jejdling 80% of the continent's population remains unbanked, while only 20% of the population experiences 3G coverage.

He added, all those individuals who are unbanked can be banked or connected tomorrow with the mobile phone.

"Sending money should be as easy as sending an SMS," Jejdling concluded.

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