Eyes on Africa: Mobile Web use surges in Africa according to Opera's latest State of the Mobile Web report

Opera Mini Browser
Opera Mini Browser

Opera Software uncovers exponential growth in Africa’s mobile Web usage in its latest State of the Mobile Web report. Published today, this September 2008 study focuses on the African continent, where Web browsing on the mobile phone far exceeds traditional desktop-computer surfing.

Fast facts

  • The use of Opera Mini in Africa increased by 180 percent from January 2008 – September 2008
  • Globally, Opera Mini was used by 19 million people in September 2008, a 341 percent increase from September 2007
  • Opera Mini users accessed 4.5 billion pages in September 2008, a 420 percent increase from September 2007
  • In September, Opera Mini’s 19 million users generated more than 65.2 million MB of data for operators worldwide
  • Egypt is now the tenth largest user of Opera Mini in the world

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Africa’s mobile industry is expanding at nearly double the global rate. Personal computer penetration remains low across the continent, which results in an increasing number of Africans turning to their mobile phones to get online.

As of September 2008, Egypt has pre-empted Germany as the world’s tenth largest user of the Opera Mini browser for mobile phones. South Africa remains firmly among the top 10 international users, currently ranked sixth. Overall, Africa experienced a usage surge of 180 percent over the past nine months.

Opera Mini provides a readily available and affordable means of getting online, as there are low barriers to adoption. Opera maintains its mission to provide Internet for all, whether you live in Africa or Antarctica.

“Month after month we have witnessed our usage numbers in Africa skyrocket,” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “This tells us that change is underway, and more people now have the ability to access the Internet from locations that were previously unthinkable.” “Opera Mini has a global entourage of 19 million strong. These people accessed 4.5 billion Web pages in September alone. It’s exciting to see a rise in Opera Mini use in countries like Egypt, where accessing sites such as Facebook and Google from their mobile phone can now be a part of Egyptians’ daily lives.”

About Opera Software ASA
Opera Software ASA has redefined Web browsing for PCs, mobile phones and other networked evices. Opera’s cross-platform Web browser technology is renowned for its performance, standards compliance and small size, while giving users a faster, safer and more dynamic online experience. Opera Software is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices around the world.
The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol OPERA. Learn more about Opera at http://www.opera.com/.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


  1. Fantastic piece of gadget, small yet so productive and efficient. Opera did blow this one out for real.

    This has provided us with an oportunity to connect with the rest of the world at reasonably lower cost while on the other hand having a professionaly designed interface of the (Opera Mini and Mobile) tools easen your preference and search likes/ dislikes.

    It has a great arangement, it flows with rythm and stylish colors. Brilliant idea. And with the African mobile revolution on its beginning phase, who knows the amount of subscription Opera will get in the next year or so.

    Nice work, keep serving us this way – I believe you will keep us comming your way.

  2. Sure is a big thing out here in Kenya. Though not shocking, since with a large majority not able to afford a personal PC, and exobitant charges by ISP providers. This is the way out for majority.

    Opera mini! rocks, its tiny, compatible and serves the purpose while still maintaining a low cost. We can read our mail, surf the net and download stuff. I love to use this example; the cost of surfing in a cyber cafe for an hour is roughly $1.50, but with the mobile phone–you can not believe it 0.20 or less. Unbeatable. Uncomparable.

    So with Opera Mini browser, unlike the old fashion phone browser, we have a chance to quickly, conviniently and cheaply get online.

  3. Opera softwares rank among the best in use for handhelds and mobiles. What with the innovative opera mini, especially with the beta version of 4.2 under way with added facilities as faster page rendering, skin options and flash videos; i tell you, they’re opening Africa to the world of the web. I give them kudos and doff my hat for opera. Keep up the good work.

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