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By 30 July 2012 | Categories: news

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Opera Software has released its latest State of the Mobile Web Report, showing that Africa is in the midst of a mobile web browsing transformation.
 
With less legacy fixed-line infrastructure available on the continent, mobile phones are the most popular means for Africans to access the web.

Opera’s State of the Mobile Web Report revealed that 25 out of 53 countries (47%) on the African continent have international news sites as their most popular sources of news and information. These countries include the Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Libya as well as Côte d’Ivoire, with the majority (18 of 25) turning to the BBC as their prefered news source.

According to Opera Software, data growth seems to have outpaced page-view growth across Africa. This fact suggests that Africans are browsing larger pages and most likely, using more advanced websites.

A large amount of countries (36) more than doubled their Opera Mini user bases in one year. For example, after a brutal civil war within Libya, the mobile web has made a comeback in virtually every category of Opera Mini usage, including users, page views and data consumption.
 
Also showing incredible growth is Côte d’Ivoire, as the amount of Opera Mini users rose by a whopping 600% in one year. Page views increased by a staggering 744% within that country, while data use grew 760%, outpacing the growth in page views.

Growth worldwide

In terms of the global picture, more than 200 million people employed the Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers during June 2012. Out of this number, more than 17 million were Opera Mobile users, whilst the rest were Opera Mini users. Compared to the figures from the previous year, Opera Mini and Opera Mobile combined, grew north of 47% year-on-year.

Opera Mini users viewed more than 115 billion pages in June 2012, an increase of over 55% compared to June 2011. In June 2012, Opera Mini served 2015 million MB of data, which was compressed by as much as 90% thanks to the firm’s Opera Mini browser. The company asserts that if this data was uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 20 petabytes of data within June.

“Two hundred million people use Opera Mini and Opera Mobile to connect to the world around them,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera.

“For many of them, a browser is more than a tool to ‘browse the web’. Sometimes it’s a school when you can afford none, sometimes it’s the only line to an outside world shut off by an oppressive regime. Providing a service that reliably and cheaply delivers critical information to just about everyone with a phone is the reason Opera makes browsers. We want to make a difference in the world, not only on the web.” 

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