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Botswana: smartphone growth pushes up internet subscription

Internet subscription in Botswana increased by 6.8% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the latest figures from Statistics Botswana.

Statistics indicate an increase from 2,144,247 in the third quarter of 2020 to 2,290,332 in the fourth quarter.

Statistician General Dr Burton Mguni said mobile internet subscriptions increased by 7.0%, from 2,093,386 in the third quarter to 2,240,166 in the fourth quarter.

Mobile internet is leveraging the country’s growing mobile subscription now pegged at 3,829,408 from 3,813,195 in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 0.4%.

However fixed internet subscriptions went down by 1.4% from 50,861 in the third quarter of 2020 to 50,166 in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Q4 2020 registered an increase of 13.0 percent in total internet subscriptions. Mobile internet subscriptions increased by 14.0 percent while fixed internet subscriptions declined by 19.2 percent during this period,” said Mguni.

Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), which is responsible for facilitating the growth of the internet, says the widespread use of smartphones has led to an increased number of people with access to mobile internet, especially among the youth.

The Authority adds that wholesale internet bandwidth prices have dropped due to acquisition of internet bandwidth capacity through the East Africa Sub Marine System (EASSy) and West Africa Cable System (WACS). 

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