SA mobile Internet subscribers

The number of mobile Internet subscriptions in South Africa is expected to grow to 35.2 million by the end of 2018, more than double the total of 15 million at the end of 2013.

This is according to the South African entertainment and media outlook: 2014 – 2018, published by financial services company, PwC.

The firm said that by 2018 as much as 72% of South Africa’s mobile subscriptions will be for mobile Internet.

The number of LTE subscriptions in South Africa is forecast to grow at a fairly strong rate, albeit from a low base, to reach 12.6 million at the end of 2018.

Smartphones

Mobile devices are also a significant contributor to the increasing popularity of mobile Internet access, PwC said.

There were 19.9 million smartphone connections in South Africa at the end of 2013, representing 28% of all mobile subscriptions, and the number of smartphone connections is forecast to rise to 48.4 million by end 2018, or 58% of all mobile subscriptions.

The number of active tablet devices will rise from 1.7 million at end 2013 to a projected 5.1 million at the end of 2018, the report forecast.

Broadband

The report said that in 2013 there were 1.4 million fixed broadband households and seven out of ten people were without mobile Internet access. By 2018, 2.1 million households will subscribe to broadband and 64% of people will have mobile Internet access.

There were 1.37 million fixed broadband subscriptions in South Africa at the end of 2013, up from 829,900 at the end of 2009. DSL is the largest fixed-broadband access technology, with 1.19 million subscriptions at the end of 2013, PwC’s data found.

Incumbent Telkom SA is the largest fixed broadband provider, with 914,100 broadband subscriptions at the end of 2013, representing 67% of the country’s fixed broadband market.

Telkom dominates the DSL segment with 910,000 DSL subscriptions at the end of 2013.

DSL, according to PwC, will continue to dominate the fixed broadband market in South Africa, with DSL subscriptions forecast to reach 1.66 million by the end of 2018.

Total fixed broadband subscriptions in South Africa are forecast to number 2.06 million by the end of 2018, the financial services group said.

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SA mobile Internet subscribers