NEW YORK, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Vodacom Group Limited (OTCBB: VDMCY) is a leading mobile and communications company providing a wide range of services, including mobile voice, messaging, data and converged services to approximately 57.5 million customers in South Africa and internationally throughout the African continent. The company also offers internet and fixed line services, as well as M-Pesa – a proprietary mobile money transfer service. In addition to their chief presence in South Africa, Vodacom has grown their mobile operations to include networks in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Lesotho. The company also offers business managed services to enterprises in over 40 countries across Africa. Further, Vodacom is majority owned (65%) by Vodafone Group PLC (VOD).
The mobile telecommunications market in Africa is rather bifurcated with some countries, such as South Africa, experiencing high levels of penetration and some countries, such as DRC, exhibiting fairly low levels of penetration. Overall, Africa has the lowest mobile penetration in the world despite having a population over one billion. As a result, the growth potential there in mobile is among the highest in the world.
As higher speed networks (see: 3G and 4G) and more advanced devices become more commonplace in the market, the rate of growth in data traffic is likely to far outstrip the growth in mobile connections. Currently, the proportion of these higher speed networks is approximately 33%, but that is expected to double by 2020. In order to deal with this increase in global data traffic, mobile operators have invested substantially in their networks by extending the quality, speed and coverage of data connectivity. Meanwhile, the advent and growing acceptance of mobile financial services can help transform the daily lives of people and drive socioeconomic development in developing regions around the world. Through mobile technology, financial services can be brought to previously unbanked and under-banked populations of the world, helping drive economic growth and promoting financial inclusion.
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