The Usage Gap Dilemma: Max Cuvellier’s Insights into African Mobile Internet Access

In the interview with Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development at the GSMA, the discussion revolves around the disparities in mobile internet coverage and usage in Africa. While many assume that low mobile internet usage is primarily due to a lack of coverage, Max Cuvellier clarifies that 85% of Africans already have mobile internet coverage, thanks to substantial investments by mobile operators. This means that the infrastructure is in place for the majority of the population.

Today, 85% of Africans have mobile Internet coverage. Mobile operators have made significant investments in expanding coverage. While there are still 200 million Africans without coverage, the majority, that is 85%, are already covered. Mobile operators are committed to further investments, with plans to invest $75 billion into connectivity between now and 2030. So, the 15% who are not covered is an important issue, but what’s even more significant is the population that has coverage but is not utilizing it. If we do the math – 100% minus the 25% who are actively using it, and the 15% who lack coverage – we find that nearly 60% of the population falls into this category. The infrastructure and investment are in place, and they have access to mobile internet, yet they’re not using it. This is what we refer to as the ‘usage gap.

Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development at the GSMA

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