In what Arthur Goldstuck calls a “tweetnote presentation”, the head of research firm World Wide Worx posted to Twitter the headline findings from their soon to be released Internet Access in SA 2012 study.
The full report is set to be out in June 2012, Goldstuck said.
Goldstuck explained that the study used multiple methodologies, including: primary research, interviews with providers, and market intelligence.
According to the study, the South African Internet user base grew 25% in 2011 to 8.5 million Internet users at the end of 2011. This follows a growth of 28% in 2010.
“Internet has awoken in SA,” Goldstuck said.
A total of 7.9 million South Africans access the Internet on their cell phones, the study found, while 6.02 million use a computer, laptop, or tablet.
Of these PC and tablet PC users, 90% also use their mobile phones to access the Internet.
2.48 million South Africans use only their cellphones to access the Internet, Goldstuck said.
The study also found that there are 5.5 million 3G users and 8.5 million smartphone owners in South Africa by the end of 2011.
Goldstuck said that they expect the number of smartphones to increase to over 11 million in 2012.
At 13%, ADSL growth was far lower than the overall increase in Internet users in SA during 2011. The number of ADSL connections in use in SA is 820,000, and is being limited by Telkom as the sole supplier of the service, Goldstuck said.
Goldstuck pointed out that undersea cable capacity to South Africa at end of 2011 was 2.69 Terabits per second (Tbps). At the end of 2012 this is expected to climb to 11.9Tbps, while SA should have 24.6Tbps of undersea capacity by the end of 2013.
The study forecasts a 20% growth in Internet users in 2012, Goldstuck said. This would take the user base past the 10 million mark and Internet penetration in SA to 20%.