Africa has been witness to the advent of intense mobile penetration and because of this many mobile operators and other telecoms firms have registered significant growth.
In South Africa, the largest mobile operator by subscriber base is Vodacom. It has 37.1 million subscribers, whilst its closest rival MTN has 30.2 million subscribers. This makes Vodacom the most valuable in South Africa, and the impact is also profound in other African countries that Vodacom operates in.
Nigeria has Africa's biggest largest mobile market with subscribers over a hundred million. Because of this Nigerian mobile operators are some of the biggest on the continent. MTN Nigeria is a junior company of Africa’s leading telecommunication company, MTN Group and is also the biggest telecommunications company in Nigeria. In 2014, it was ranked Number 1 on the list of top 101 mobile operators in Africa. Globacom. popularly known as Glo, is also another leading mobile network operator in Nigeria and has 20% share in the African market for its over 24 million active subscribers. Airtel and Etisalat are also giant mobile operators from Nigeria.
The 2014 List of Top 101 Africa Mobile Network Operators saw Vodacom, Vodafone, MobiNil, MTN, Ethio Telecom, Glo, Etisalat, Safaricom, Cell C, Orange and Zain scooping the top positions.
In Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless remains the top mobile operator and on the top 101 list was on Number 39. Econet provides a wide range of services that include banking, health cover, mobile money, car tracking, online shopping and has shares in some of the country's big companies. Econet continues to make an indelible imprint through their many services they offer, and their new hashtag they use in advertising, #WeSpeakAfrican.
The giant telecommunications companies provide an essential mix of new ideas and innovation to Africa. However, in some African countries there have been numerous complaints from the subscribers that data prices are still too high and unimaginable for the low-income earning people.