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Mobile internet set to transform Maghreb society Ericsson report finds

In urban Maghreb mobile internet penetration is set to double within 2015 while 7 out of 10 new phones are expected to be smartphones. Internet adoption is driven by the youth showing same usage patterns as in western countries such as UK or the US. People show a positive attitude towards technology as lever for societal change and expect benefits to extend to sectors such as commerce and public services.

A new report from Ericsson’s (NASDAQ:ERIC) ConsumerLab, "Internet goes mobile", analyzes trends in ICT usage in urban Maghreb confirming that the region is experiencing an ICT transformation. The study represents 23 million consumers leaving in urban areas* across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The population of urban Maghreb is adopting mobile broadband rapidly which will lead the transformation towards a connected region. Within 2015 mobile internet penetration is expected to double and 7 out of every ten new phones bought are expected to be smartphones.

The study highlights the positive attitude that people manifest towards technology as they expect its further adoption to bring benefits to several aspects of their lives. Today, Internet penetration in urban Maghreb stands at 60 percent and as consumers increasingly adopt online habits it is highly important for them to connect from any location at any time.

One of the key findings of the Ericsson ConsumerLab report is that the continuous growth in internet usage is especially relevant among young people. Maghreb urban youths (15 to 24 year olds) show a similar weekly usage of internet services and apps as young people in other western countries, such as the UK and the US. Furthermore, Internet penetration amongst young people exceeds 70 percent.

Although laptops are still the most used device to connect to Internet, users are increasingly shifting to smartphones, with half of the online population connecting through them. Consumers show a genuine interest in smartphone apps. Facebook, YouTube and Viber are the most used apps, with WhatsApp following close behind.

With this growing usage of internet services and apps, perceived network performance stands as a crucial differentiation element for internet service providers. 70 percent of Maghreb’s urban population admits that connection, quality, reliability, speed and coverage are key factors when choosing an internet service provider. Moreover, the network performance is the key driver of satisfaction when it comes to mobile operators. More than half of smartphone users would increase mobile internet services and app usage as networks get faster.

Majda Lahlou Kassi, Head of Strategy Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Maghreb comments: "This Ericsson ConsumerLab report proves that Maghreb is on full-track towards a fully connected and networked society. The report also confirms the great potential of Maghreb when it comes to mobile commerce services such as mobile banking, transfers and payments. People expect the benefits of technology to expand into public services as well by making their life easier more efficient and more in control."

Read the report Internet goes mobile – Maghreb

Internet goes mobile – Algeria highlights

Internet goes mobile – Morocco highlights

Internet goes mobile – Tunisia highlights

*The study was conducted in Moroccan cities of Agadir, Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, Oujda, Tangier, Algerian cities of Algiers, Blida, Constantine, Oran, Ouargla, Sétif, Tunisian cities of Grand Tunis, Jendouba, Nabeul, Sfax, Sousse.

Notes to editors

Present in Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) for over 4 decades, Ericsson has contributed significantly to the development of the ICT in the region, in partnership with telecom operators, governmental institutions and major local companies. Ericsson presence in Maghreb counts with more than 800 highly-skilled employees with end to end expertise in Mobile broadband, IP & Cloud, IT and professional services.

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