The East African Mobile Market from the TNS Global Mobile Life Research.

I just received the below information on research findings from TNS Global on the East African Mobile Market. The research is part of the TNS Global Mobile Life Research that was conducted with 34,000 people in 47 countries. Therefore, this information is just for the East African region. Some interesting insights worth noting follow:

  • Despite having higher GDP Per Capita than Tanzania, Kenyans are paying less for their mobile handsets and replacing them more often – quicker therefore to adopt new technologies (and getting good prices).
  • Nokia still dominate the mobile handset market but we know from other sources that there are plenty of fakes and Chinese manufacturers such as ZTE are making inroads in Uganda (e.g. they launched a solar powered phone there a couple of years back)
  • Kenyans are expecting to pay less for their next handset than they did last year – but are wanting to do a lot more with them (expecting more for less)
  • In East Africa, in contrast to the global picture,consumers are preferring to use mobiles for a wider range of activities – social networking, finance, downloading content etc (whereas globally, consumers prefer to do those things on PC – Kenya is ahead!)
  • If we look at all the messages East Africans send, by phone or PC, the vast majority in Kenya / EA are via phone as compared to 50:50 split globally.
  • Kenyans are very social, loving Social network apps and accessing the sites regularly. They are also very into music (a high proportion download or use music apps).
  • Lots of apps though are side-loaded from other phones or PCs rather than downloaded.
  • We looked at the time of day which consumers use their phone for certain activities. For listening to music, in Uganda, there is a peak in the evening. In Kenya however there is also a peak during commuting time in the morning – probably due to the traffic jams!
  • Lots of consumers in East Africa believe that mobile finance can eventually REPLACE Banks entirely – due to convenience, ease of use etc.

You can get the full research findings for the TNS Global Mobile Life following the formal launch at http://discovermobilelife.com/

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1 Comment

  1. March 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm — Reply

    Just how ahead are we if we dont yet have Interswitching between Banks and ISOs or even wide adoption of electronic payments? just because a UK crafted STK service (MPESA) has worked for us doesn’t mean that we are ahead of technologies like NFC and electronic payment platforms in the developed economies, we dont even have mainstream ecommerce, I think we just need to face reality, MPESA fleeces customers and yet we celebrate it constantly instead of innovating to lower costs and make electronic payments mainstream using central financial exchanges.

    Putting the cart before the horse again and again. NKT!

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