It is also estimated that almost 80 per cent of these new subscriptions would come from Africa, Asia Pacific and Middle East.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, advanced mobile technology would be globally pervasive by 2020 with 70 per cent of people using smartphones and 90 per cent covered by mobile broadband networks.
To tackle the growth of Africa’s smartphone market, many mobile operators on the continent and particularly Ghana, have formed partnerships with device manufacturers to meet the demand for entry level smartphones.
Tigo Ghana is one example – for the past two years, they have gone into partnership with various smartphone manufactures, including Samsung and Alcatel to get most of their customers hooked into the digital world.
In March, they announced a partnership with Mstoreglobal to provide their customers with genuine mobile devices, accessories and after sales service.
Mstoreglobal is providing devices and services from world-leading electronic giants such as Samsung, Microsoft, Huawei, Lenovo and Nokia while Tigo provides attractive data and voice bundles.
“As the adoption for smartphones increases in Ghana, we see the demand for data as a key driver for our operations and our focus is to keep Ghanaians confidently connected to the digital world by offering various attractive packages and services,” the Director for Mobile at Tigo, Tara Squire explained.
He mentioned that a few months ago they launched ‘Tigo Tribe,’ a product that gives subscribers free access to social media, specifically Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and IMO.
It was an instant hit, which also gave new pre-paid customers 1GB free data with no subscription fee.
Focusing on creating value for both customers and the brand, Mr Squire said, “We have done a complete overhaul of our business model, concentrating on building a business with a profitable long term strategy and quick wins”.
He noted that in a very challenging and competitive regulatory and fiscal environment, there is the need to make bold decisions and Tigo’s investments in building a stable and reliable network over the last couple of years was starting to pay off.
Tigo’s customer base marginally increased from 5,026,237 in February to 5,062,304 in March, a 0.72 per cent increment.
As stated in the National Communications Authority’s mobile subscription report, Tigo’s current market share stands at 14.01 per cent.