Mobile web trends in Africa

New State of the Mobile Web Report highlights Africa as total Opera mobile browser users cross 200 million mark

Oslo, Norway – July 30, 2012

Africa is in the midst of a mobile web browsing transformation. With less legacy fixed-line infrastructure, not only do more people have mobile phones, but mobile phones are the most popular means for Africans across the continent to access the web.

This month, Opera’s State of the Mobile Web Report examines Africa. A clickable map provides a concise guide to more than 1000 data points, including top sites, handsets, mobile penetration and other metrics for 53 total countries. The map and full report are available at The analysis includes several top-line findings, including:

  • 25 out of 53 countries (47%) have international news sites as the most popular news source. Countries include Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Libya and Côte d”Ivoire. 18 of those 25 countries turn to the BBC as the most-used source.
  • 36 countries more than doubled their Opera Mini user bases in one year.
  • The mobile web has made a comeback in Libya. In the year since the revolution, Libya has grown the most in every category of Opera Mini usage, including users, page views and data consumption.
  • Côte d”Ivoire also showed spectacular growth. The number of Opera Mini users rose 600% in one year. Page views grew 744%, meaning people are browsing more pages than they did the year before. Data use grew 760%, outpacing the growth in page views.
  • Across Africa, data growth seems to outpace page-view growth. This fact suggests that Africans are browsing larger pages and most likely, using richer, more advanced websites.

“Two hundred million people use Opera Mini and Opera Mobile to connect to the world around them,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera. “For many of them, a browser is more than a tool to ‘browse the web”. Sometimes it’s a school when you can afford none, sometimes it’s the only line to an outside world shut off by an oppressive regime. Providing a service that reliably and cheaply delivers critical information to just about everyone with a phone is the reason Opera makes browsers. We want to make a difference in the world, not only on the web.”

Global Growth


In June 2012, more than 200 million people used the Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers. Out of this number, more than 17 million were Opera Mobile users, and the rest were Opera Mini users. Compared to June 2011, Opera Mini and Opera Mobile combined grew more than 47% year over year.

  • Opera Mini users viewed over 115 billion pages in June 2012. Since June 2011, page views have increased more than 55%.
  • In June 2012, Opera Mini served 2,015 million MB of data. Data in the Opera Mini browser is compressed by up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 20 petabytes of data in June. Since June 2011, data traffic has risen more than 88%.

To read the full report, please visit