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'Africa's mobile subscriptions top 880 million'

‘Africa’s mobile subs top 880 million’.

Africa's mobile subscriptions topped the 880 million mark in the third quarter of 2014, according to Ericsson.

Globally there are currently 7.1 billion mobile subscriptions according to the telecoms technology and services company.

Ericsson released its Mobility Report on Tuesday, which revealed that during the third quarter Africa had 26 million new mobile subscriptions.

The Report states that for many countries the number of subscriptions exceeds the population because not all subscriptions are active and subscribers may have multiple devices to optimise pricing by using different operators for different calls. This is especially true for Africa.

55% growth in mobile subscriptions is expected in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) between 2014 and 2020, the Report added.

Commenting on the findings Fredrik Jejdling, president and regional head of Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa said, "The increased availability of low-cost smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa will lead to a rapid increase of smartphone subscriptions in the region.

"However, GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions will remain the most common subscription type for the next five years due to the high numbers of lower income consumers using 2G-enabled handsets."

According to the Report the majority of the total mobile subscriptions in the region are still basic phones.

Ericsson noted that 85% of MEA mobile subscriptions will only be 3G/4G by 2020.

Ericsson expects 90% of the world's population over the age of six will have a mobile phone by 2020.

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