Opera browser hits 100m users in Africa

Opera’s State of Mobile Web Report Africa 2016 highlights mobile Internet trends across the African continent. Opera reports that it has surpassed 100 million users in Africa.

The numbers means an 86.41% market share in Kenya, 71.83% in Nigeria and 53.1% in South Africa.

Extra Read: After a Decade, TEDGlobal 2017 Returns to Africa

Some of the highlights include consumers’ browsing behaviour and app usage, broken down below:

  • Kenyans, Seychellois, Ghanaians, and Mauritians ranked as the highest data users with an average usage of over 160MB/month.
  • Mobile video streaming sites via Opera Mini in Africa have increased by 36% since 2012.
  • South Africa  was listed the first in Africa in app usage, with a third of its population using mobile apps,  Ghana was second with 31%, Nigeria with 28%, 19% in Kenya and 18% in Uganda.
  • Nigerians which is the most populous nation has regular social media use with 70% of Nigeria’s 16 million Facebook users via Opera Mini.
  • Opera also found that Opera Mini users access local news as much as 300% more than in 2014.

Extra Read: Is this Africa’s Most Mobile-Techie Nation? Kenya’s Mobile Penetration Hits a New High of 88%

Furthermore, the report highlights the usefulness and importance of data compression technologies, especially as it concerns high data costs, which has slowed down the adoption of mobile Internet.

Some challenges:

Expensive data bundles;

Data remains prohibitively expensive for many mobile users in Africa. This means that even if smartphone penetration is increasing, many people don’t use their devices to their full benefit, it’s not surprising that 53% of Africans can afford only 20MB per month10.

Background ‘data theft’;

Earlier this year research from Opera found that 30% of all mobile data is wasted in the background meaning that many data users are essentially throwing away the equivalent of $1 out of every $3 spent on data.

Limited network capacity;

the increase in number of cellphone towers and their capacity is not increasing nearly as quickly as the increase of data spent per person.

Increase in page sizes;

Since 2012, the average size of web pages served to the mobile web has more than doubled and is set to double again by 2018. This is due to larger images, trackers, bloatware, etc, which translates to users paying more for essentially, Android users make up 50% of overall Opera Mini users.

With the increase of pages, the compression technology used in Opera Mini and Opera Max aids opera mini users save on data costs and fix congestion and page sizes.

Extra Read: Morocco Most Affordable Internet in Africa says A4AI 2015-16 Internet Affordability Report

Data Compression Technology

“We believe data compression is as relevant and useful now as it was a decade ago – in fact, with the growth of smartphone penetration coupled with prohibitively high data costs, it’s a critical enabler,” said Richard Monday, VP for Opera, Africa.

In fact, the report states that in 2016, Opera’s compression technology has allowed South Africans to save approximately US$111m in data costs, with Nigerians and Kenyans saving US$280m and US$116m, respectively.

To get the full report, click HERE.