Summary Box: Africa fastest growing mobile market

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FAST PENETRATION: An industry group report says Africa is the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market. Mobile penetration in Africa has reached 649 million connections, second only to Asia.

HOW IT GETS USED: Researchers have used cell phone technology to track animals for wildlife studies. Africans use cell phones to make payments across borders. Lack of access for many Africans to formal banking and financial services has spurred innovation.

POLICY CHANGES: The group behind the study, GSMA, is calling on governments to allocate more mobile broadband spectrum and to cut taxes on operators to further spur expansion.