by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) has projected a significant growth in South Africa’s mobile content and applications market in 2020 following possible reductions in data prices, low inflation rates and salary increments.
WASPA also projects subsequent economic growth and expects an uptick in both mobile app development by its almost 300 members and consumption by South Africa’s over 22 million smartphone users.
“They say bad news comes in threes; but with recent announcements to do with mobile data, salaries and the inflation rate, the same could be said of good news,” said Greg Brophy, WASPA chairperson.
The sentiments follow the recently-completed Competition Commission market inquiry into mobile data pricing, which established a failure of free competition in the local mobile data market.
While the mobile networks are still considering the implications of the regulator’s report, it is likely mobile data prices would continue their steady decline that already began some time ago.
“Basic economics says reducing the price of goods and services will increase their consumption,” Brophy said.
He said more affordable mobile data would ensure greater consumption of data-intensive mobile services.
“This will, in turn, spur WASPA’s members to develop an even greater variety of mobile content and applications for use on smartphones,” Brophy explained.
WASPA believes the local economy, the most advanced in the economic albeit its struggles, could experience a subtle boost from the increased local development and consumption of apps that made everything from learning to traveling more efficient.
WASPA has previously highlighted the positive relationship between economic growth and cellular usage that increasingly comprises less voice access and more data-intensive app interaction.
The worldwide GSM Association has found that every doubling of mobile data use typically adds a solid 0,5 percentage points to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Also, incomes available for app consumption are on the rise according to WASPA.
Average take-home pay in October 2019 reached the R16 000 (more than US$1 110) level for the first time, according to the BankservAfrica Take-home Pay Index.
The Consumer Price Inflation is currently at its lowest level in eight years, delivering an added boost to disposable incomes and likely voice and data consumption in 2020.
Founded in 2004, WASPA represents the interests of mobile content and applications providers in South Africa while advancing the protection of the local mobile consumer.
– CAJ News