Internet penetration Africa is not as rife as it is in the US, Europe or Asia.Few people have phones in their homes.It may be a walking distance, but access to internet does not come handy.Internet access in Africa is still very low compared to the rest of the world.The latest internet usage in Africa as published by Internet World Stats is 54,171,500 compared to the 1,542,098,608 the rest of the world share.Google the leading provider of search on the Internet has brought the search service to Africans on their phones through SMS. Google has partnered with some mobile telecommunication networks to provide search capabilities for Africans on their phones.Individual keywords are sent via SMS to the network by short codes.The result is also sent back by SMS. Africans don’t need to be on the internet to access the service.Africa has the world’s highest mobile growth rate and mobile phone penetration is far higher than Internet penetration. By focusing on SMS-based service, Google will be able to reach a far larger number of potential users than by working on web-based apps.
The service in Ghana where I come from is not as popular as I thought it will be.The service is still Available on one Network provider.The usage is still low.Just maybe the message did not go down well with the target market.I found out about the service on one of Google sites.A lot of African who do not have internet access rely on Radio and Television for information such as Daily News, Sports, Health, Weather and Stock prices.A new service like what Google provides needs a lot of marketing at least in Ghana my home country.