Social Social factors relate to pattern of behavior, taste and lifestyles. The influence that social factors have on the growth of mobile phone industry in Africa is vital. The number of mobile phone users in Africa has increase tremendously over the past decade from a mere 72,000 (excluding South Africa) to an astounding 25. 5 million users. * Safety and Convenience The safety and easy accessibility of mobile phones has prompted many Africans to use them.
The use of mobile phones to deliver message is a safer way compared to he conventional mail method which is exposed to risk of mail lost or important information falling into the wrong hands. Mobile phone is now one of the most effective and efficient mode of communication in the world. * Demographics According to McKinney None 2010), the number of working-age population will increase from 500 million today to 1. 1 billion in 2040.
This indicates that the mobile phone industry will be growing substantially in the future due to the increasing number of the population with ability to afford the use of mobile phones and it is classically a necessity for this group of population. B) Political/Legal The government plays a major role in encouraging or discouraging the growth of mobile phone industry in certain countries. The main barrier to further expansion remains the troublesome regulatory framework where countries with similar economic circumstances but with a liberalized market generally show higher penetration rates. Regulations – Taxes can also deter the expansion of m-bile phone industry such as import duties on handsets or special communications surcharges. Infrastructure – In most countries, the mobile phone industry acts as a huge source of income to the government who have used its popularity for generating tax revenues but did not invest the money gained in improving the infrastructure to support the growth. In order to build additional infrastructure to support the network, it usually requires a certain approval from some government entity and statutory bodies to use their lands.
Due to these constraints, rural and remote areas will not be able to gain coverage due to the lack of infrastructure and this will affect he ability of telecommunication companies to expand to such areas. * Health Issues – Health issues due to the closeness of phone masts to residential and public areas is still an issue to most countries and there is still no definitive public opinion on the effect of mobile phone usage by people. ) Economic t- The cost to using mobile services in Iatric is relatively nigh such as making calls and sending texts plus the huge population of Africa still lives in poverty and might not be able to afford such services. As stated in the article, running a mobile hone costs the average user 3 percent of a monthly income in South Africa and even more in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Niger which are approximately 25 to 60 percent.
This will withhold the growth of the mobile phone services market into certain markets in Africa. D) Technological * Innovation – One of the main technological factors that influence the growth of mobile phone in Africa is the existence of mobile internet technology. In this era of information technology, the innovation of mobile services has sprouted the growth of bile phone industry and as mentioned in the article, mobile banking has been one of the factors.
The people of Africa are now opting for conveniences and hassle-free online transactions as everything could be done anywhere, anytime. The use of mobile phone enhances communication flow as well. This is due to the fact that with mobile telecommunications, messages can be passed on to another party in matter of seconds. Moreover, more things such as paying utility bills could be done in a shorter time period compared to conventional methods.