The report which was released a few days ago in Johannesburg, said Ghanaians, Kenyans, Seychellois and Mauritians are the highest data users with an average usage of over 160MB/month.
Additionally, Ghana is the only sub-Saharan market where iOS features in the top ten platforms for Opera Mini users.
Opera Mini is one of the world’s most popular web browsers that works on almost any phone or tablet, while iOS is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that presently powers many of the company’s mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
“Since 2014, average monthly data usage by Opera Mini users in Africa has increased by 171 per cent. However, due to Opera Mini’s advanced compression technology, users have saved the vast majority of their data,” it said.
The report, highlighted mobile internet trends across the continent, including consumer browsing behaviour and app usage.
Opera, known for its compression technology and mobile browsers, including Opera Mini, compiles regular global mobile web reports, shedding light on opportunities and challenges within the digital environment.
Findings also show that visits to streaming video websites on Opera Mini in Africa have increased by 36 per cent since 2012. Users from Tanzania (22 per cent) are most likely to visit YouTube followed by South Africa (20 per cent) and Ghana (19 per cent).
The Opera report ranked South Africa first in Africa in terms of app usage, with a third of its population using mobile applications, followed by 31 per cent in Ghana, 28 per cent in Nigeria, 19 per cent in Kenya and 18 per cent in Uganda.
Nigerians are regular social media users with 70 per cent of Nigeria’s 16 million Facebook users, accessing the site via Opera Mini. In addition, Opera Mini users are accessing local news as much as 300 per cent more than in 2014.
Commenting, Richard Monday, vice president for Opera, Africa, said: “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.”
He added: “The compression technology used in Opera Mini and Opera Max helps consumers save on data costs and addresses issues relating to congestion and page sizes. Ultimately, a lighter mobile web enhances usability, functionality and access – even in poor network conditions.”
The report estimated that by 2021, “there is set to be 13-fold increase in mobile data traffic in Africa. This will be driven by the increase in smartphone subscriptions and demand for media-rich content and data-intensive apps”.
It said 2016 marks the first year that more smartphones are being shipped in Africa than feature phones, adding, “Whilst this isn’t necessarily reflective of the handsets currently in use, it’s a sign of Africa’s Android future. Indeed, Africa’s smartphone penetration is expected to reach 50 per cent by 2020, from only 18 per cent in 2015.”
According to the International Data Corporation, 89 per cent of all smartphones shipped in Africa during the first quarter of 2015 were powered by Android and 45.1 per cent of those were priced below $100.
The Opera, which currently has 100 million users in Africa, enables more than 350 million internet consumers worldwide to connect with the content and services that matter most to them. It also helps publishers monetise their content through advertising and advertisers reach the audiences that build value for their businesses, capitalising on a global consumer audience reach that exceeds 1 billion.