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#MoDiTECH2019: Nigeria among three countries to emerge as smartphone super-powers by 2025, says Okere



Nigeria will emerge among top three smartphone super-powers by year 2025 and will benefit immensely from the mobile economy.

To reap the benefits, the government must create a business-friendly environment that will encourage further deployment of infrastructure, especially 4G technologies and potentially 5G, says the Founder of CWG Plc, Mr. Austin Okere.

Speaking on the topic: Social and Global Impact: Engaging for Growth as his keynote presentation at the recent Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (#MoDiTECH2019) organised by in Lagos, Mr. Okere said that smartphone ubiquity across the world enables consumer engagement in numerous use cases; although, slowing unique subscriber growth, regulatory intervention and intense competition continue to put pressure on operators’ traditional mobile revenue.

austin okere

But, over a fifth of the world’s markets will have launched 5G by 2020, spending a combined $244 billion on networks in the process


Mr. Okere enumerated various statistics to show how mobile is boosting global economy, thus:

  • In 2018, mobile technologies and services generated 4.6% of GDP globally, a contribution that amounted to $3.9 trillion of economic value added.

Credit: Mr. Austin Okere

  • The mobile ecosystem also supported almost 32 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with more than $500 billion raised through general taxation.

Credit: Mr. Austin Okere

  • By 2023, mobile’s contribution will reach $4.8 trillion (4.8% of GDP) as countries around the globe increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services.

Ceedit: Mr. Austin Okere

  • Further ahead, 5G technologies are expected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy over the next 15 years, with key sectors such as manufacturing, utilities and professional/financial services benefiting the most from the new technology.

Credit: Mr. Austin Okere

  • The mobile ecosystem directly employs almost 32 million people globally; 14 million directly and 17 million through related industries
  • In 2018, the mobile ecosystem contributed more than $500 billion to the funding of the public sector through general taxation

Credit: Mr. Austin Okere

  • Driven mostly by productivity gains, the global economic contribution of mobile will increase by almost $850 billion by 2023


  • 5G will contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy over the next 15 years

Credit: Mr. Austin Okere

  • At the end of 2018, 3.6 billion people were connected to the mobile internet, representing  an increase of just over 300 million compared to  the previous year. However, more than 4 billion people remain offline.


  • Around 1 billion of these are not covered by mobile broadband networks (the  ‘coverage gap’), while around 3 billion live within the  footprint of a network but are not accessing mobile  internet services (the ‘usage gap’).

austin okere

  • Over the next few years, as the enablers of mobile internet adoption (infrastructure, affordability,  consumer readiness and content/services) continue  to improve, millions of people will start using the  mobile internet for the first time.


  • By 2025, 5 billion people across the globe (more than 60% of the  population) will be mobile internet subscribers.

The Keynote speaker further described Mobile as “a powerful tool for achieving the UN’s SDGs: since 2015, impact has  increased across all 17 SDGs”.

He said “5G is an inevitable network evolution, and will create significant opportunities if the right conditions are in place

“Content consumption, particularly video, is rising. Mobile is a key driver, with  more people watching video on their devices for longer and more frequently”.

#MoDiTECH2019 team led by David Afolayan (l)

Impact on telcos

AI: transforming telcos

Mr. Okere who doubles as the Entrepreneur in Residence, Ausso Leadership Academy, also said there is widespread recognition that artificial intelligence (AI) will be key to future business and digital transformation as well as driving increasingly autonomous and intelligent networks and improving the customer experience  through greater learning of customer behaviour.

“This is reflected in rapidly growing investments in AI at the venture-capital, enterprise and national levels. Global revenue from AI services is expected to reach $90 billion by 2025.


Cross section of attendees

“Beyond that, AI could have a significant impact on the wider economy: AI could  potentially contribute $16 trillion to global GDP by  2030, equivalent to an uplift of 14% (this could be  as much as 26% in China).

“This would be through a combination of productivity gains from businesses automating processes and augmenting their existing labour force with AI technologies and increased consumer demand resulting from the availability of personalised and/or higher-quality, AI-enhanced products and services.

“While the AI industry is currently dominated by the big tech players in the US (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft) and increasingly China (Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent), operators across the world are also growing their focus on AI.

“For operators, the range of AI-based applications is moving beyond chatbots and digital assistants to network operation/planning, customer-care, advertising and AI as a service.

“Operators are experimenting with AI across different areas to improve internal operations and to offer new products/services to customers.

“Smart speaker ownership is growing faster than almost any other household electronics category. Amazon and Google still dominate.


Cross section of participants

For a country like Nigeria, the #MoDiTECH2019 keynote speaker believes there is need to remove multifaceted bottlenecks faced by operators; one of which is the charges on Right of Way (RoW).

According to him, State Government should look beyond immediate revenue generation to embrace more sustainable economic goals where telcos could be offered RoW for free in order to generate more business ventures that will pay taxes to the States’ purses.

#MoDiTECH2019 provided a platform for inter-sectorial review of economic impacts of the mobile economy; giving particular attention to the disruptive potentials of emerging technologies like the Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Robotics, FinTechs and mobile phone economy around retail and service.


L-r: Co-Chair, MoDiTECH2019, Chris Uwaje; Director, Technical Standards & Network Integrity at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Engineer Bako Wakil; Editor, and convener of MoDiTECH2019, Peter Oluka; MD Rack Centre and Chair, MoDiTECH2019, Dr. Ayotunde Coker; Founder, CWG Plc and Keynote speaker, MoDiTECH2019, Mr. Austin Okere and the President, Digivation Networks, Dr. Bayero Agabi, during Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) held at Victoria Crown Hotel, VI, Lagos, recently.

It was sponsored by Global Accelerex, Digital Encode,, Access Bank, Galaxy Backbone, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Zenith Bank and ActivEdge Technologies with supports from Nigerian CommunicationsWeek, InnovationBed Africa, ATCON, Fintech Association of Nigeria (FintechNgr), AfICTF, Rise Networks, Rack Centre, Debbie Mishael Group, ALMPO, etc.

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