Opera hits a high note in Africa

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By Nicholas Pescod – AfricanBrains

The amount of people that are using the Opera Mini browser for  mobile phones has increased significantly in the last year, most notably in Africa.

According to TheNextWeb.com, the Opera Mini browser has reached 200 million users per month for the first time in company history. The Norwegian company also reported a 47 percent increase in users from 2011.

Opera released their latest “State of the Mobile Web” report that looked at usage of its products in over 53 countries. The company hit the highest note in Africa where mobile usage is on the rise across the continent.

Since the revolution in Libya, Opera has seen growth in the country in almost every category of Opera Mini usage, which includes users, page views and data consumption.

Across the continent data growth has been outpacing page-view growth. The number of users in Côte d’Ivoire increased 600 per cent from last year. Page views also increased by as much as 744 per cent. Data usage Côte d’Ivoire grew by as much as 760 per cent.

Opera CEO Lars Boilesen, compared Opera’s mobile products to that of a mobile school.

“For many of [the 200 million users], 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,” he said. “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.”

The Opera Mini browser for non-smartphones represents 92 per cent of users (183 million users) while Opera Mobile, which is designed for smartphones accounts for the rest of the company’s users (17 million).

Opera is well known for their data compression technology, which is very appealing to those pre-pay phone users. The company claims to have served more than 2,015 million MB of data.

According to various reports, Facebook has expressed interest in acquiring Opera.

Nicholas Pescod

Nicholas Pescod attended Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville, Ontario and graduated in 2007. After deciding to return for an extra semester of high school he attended the University of Guelph in 2008. In 2009 he transferred from University into Centennial College’s journalism program and graduated in 2012. Pescod has been a contributor to the East-Toronto Observer, and he currently contributes to the North Shore News’ entertainment section. While at Centennial College he created Radio Nation, a weekly Internet radio show with a focus on indie music. Since Radio Nation began in November of 2010 there have been over 70 different live guests. In 2011 Pescod received a Global Citizenship award from Centennial for his work on Radio Nation. The show has regular listeners from around the world. Email: nicholas.pescod@africanbrains.org


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