The bulk of mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are now in developing countries, including in Africa, according to a mobile operators’ trade body, helping leapfrog technological development in Africa.
By the end of 2014, the number of cellular M2M connections – also known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) – in the developing world will total 128 million, or 52 percent of the global numbers, global industry lobby GSMA estimates.
This should rise to nearly 60 percent or 575 million in another six years.
In Africa, there were 7 million mobile connections of the new technology wave by June 2014, and this number could quadruple by 2020. Most people on the continent access the Internet from mobile devices.
“In Africa sometimes you can leapfrog and go to the latest in innovation and technology at the same time. It is absolutely excellent,” said Anne Bouverot, GSMA’s Director General.
“M2M started earlier in developed markets but now it is another area that the developing world has overtaken the developed world,” she said.
There has been a global surge in demand for M2M communications, or using the Internet to get products from cars and fridges to pet collars and toilets to carry out more tasks, more efficiently.
In Africa, IoT initiatives has been chiefly for vehicle tracking, mobile payments and smart cities.
South Africa, the continent’s second-largest economy after Nigeria, has been the leader in rolling out Internet-connected devices, with the latest project being smart meters for a power utility in the country’s biggest city Johannesburg.
Other African countries are also adopting initiatives quickly, with nations like Rwanda using SIM cards to connect point of sale terminals in remote areas enabling merchants to accept credit or debit card payments.
- Sub-Saharan Africa will have half a billion mobile subscribers by 2020
- Smartphone boom on the horizon for sub-Saharan Africa
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s fastest-growing mobile region
- Visa launches mobile money service mVisa to rival Safaricom’s M-PESA
- A few things we learned about tech hubs in Africa: GSMA (Infographic)
- Smartphone boom will drive African data explosion: Shameel Joosub, CEO, Vodacom Group (Video)
- The mobile economy – Sub-Saharan Africa 2014: GSMA (Report)
- Africa tops 500M mobile users, adds $150B to economy (Infographic)
- Mobile money in Africa: The next generation
- Mobile contributes $110 billion to Sub-Saharan African economies: Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA
- Equity Bank-Airtel Partnership and Other Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) Compete for Mobile Money Share in Africa with Established Players
- Liquid Telecom buys Neotel for $466M to form Africa’s largest fiber network
- Church business goes digital in Africa
- Facebook to open 1st Africa office in Johannesburg. Ex-Ogilvy South Africa Chairman to head operations
- MTN’s new CEO starts job committing to investment in largest markets of Nigeria and South Africa
- 4G connectivity could drive a new era of productivity for African entrepreneurs
- Nigeria’s Ntel seeks $1 billion for mobile broadband growth
- Virgin, Vodacom and BUA Group eye former Etisalat Nigeria unit
- Banks Vie for a Piece of Africa’s Mobile Banking Market
- Disrupting mobile banking in Kenya: Slim SIMs
- Nigeria Targets Country-Wide Broadband Access by 2020
- IBM launches research lab in Johannesburg. 2nd research lab in Africa after Nairobi
- Inside the Tech Revolution That Could Be Rwanda’s Future
- Here are 7 predictions for Africa’s tech sector
- Yabacon Valley: Nigeria tech startup enclave springs up in Lagos suburb
- The mobile economy – Africa 2016: GSMA (Infographics & Report)
- Cellphones – Shaping Africa: Oke Okaro, Bloomberg’s Global Head and GM of Mobile & Connected Devices (Video)
- Samsung to invest in South African plant to capitalize on Africa, the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market
- WorldRemit Africa revenue to double by 2020 on mobile money, says Founder & CEO Ismail Ahmed
- African tech startups raise record-breaking $370M in 2016: Partech Ventures (Infographic)
- 4 reasons investors should seriously look to Africa for tech
- Why this industry leader believes mobile in Africa has not yet reached its potential
- Here are Africa’s top 10 tech pioneers
- Africa’s largest company Naspers to increase exposure to US tech startups
- Orange Seeks Africa Deals as Wireless Carrier Eyes Expansion
- Africa’s largest company Naspers adds Nigeria to ‘BRIC’
- Europe, Asia? No – Airbnb’s next big push is in Africa
- Vodacom’s $576M Neotel deal wins South Africa antitrust approval
- The African tech startup scene has been transformed in just four years
- Pan-African broadband service provider Liquid Telecom eyes European IPO in 2016