Around the globe for profit. Mobile traffic on different continents

28 January 2020

Around the globe for profit. Mobile traffic on different continents

Revenue-wise, the leadership position in today’s affiliate marketing belongs to structured teams that work according to clear regulations and constantly analyze their target markets with all tools at their disposal. This is an ever-accelerating race that is getting increasingly harder to win.

Revenue-wise, the leadership position in today’s affiliate marketing belongs to structured teams that work according to clear regulations and constantly analyze their target markets with all tools at their disposal. This is an ever-accelerating race that is getting increasingly harder to win.

When it comes to long-term projects, and especially international ones, what matters the most is planning. This being said, the basis for planning is objective data. I have detailed information about the state of the mobile industry in about 30 countries and an in-depth understanding of 50 more. This allows us to make money by offering the right services to our audience. The rest, which is about 120 countries, are dark horses. Everything about them is guesswork, as they can either lack mobile services altogether or be hidden gold mines. I wish I knew what’s actually going on there.

My inherent curiosity, the desire to learn more, or even the yearning for the absolute, much like that of the Siths, led me to launch a new project where I’m going to study how mobile traffic and affiliate marketing works in other countries. Thus, some of my articles posted on ZorbasMedia will be of analytical nature.

You are more than welcome to complement, correct and discuss my columns. The more accurate the information we collect, the better each of you will be able to apply it. If you want to share some information or your expertise, please contact me on Telegram.

Bill Gates claimes, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”

And he’s absolutely right. Who would have imagined the advent of smartphones back in the days of push-button phones? By the way, that was only ten years ago. Now, smartphones provide Internet access to a huge audience that previously didn’t have this opportunity. Regardless of their income level, these people do spend their money on mobile services, and so any affiliate who is smart enough will be able to leverage it.

After they have driven the technological revolution, smartphones continue to conquer the world. Experts from the GSM Association that unites telecom companies believe that the global market share of smartphones will reach 80% by 2025. New audiences predominantly come from India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Mexico, as well as from some rapidly developing African countries.

What are the main characteristics of these regions? A large population with a steadily growing income. Mobile communications provide direct access to education and information and open up new horizons for people. This audience has never owned either computers or laptops, and so a smartphone is their only device. The image below shows what audiences will stay behind the growth of mobile users worldwide.

Around the globe for profit. Mobile traffic on different continents

The world’s regions differ widely in their development level. What has long become familiar to people in one part of the globe will become a novelty for others only in the future. What is this but an opportunity for you to use the approaches that have proved to be successful in new countries with similar parameters?

The GSM Association that unites mobile operators and other telecom companies divides the world into five regions: Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. I will follow a similar classification and delve a little deeper into the analysis of individual countries that I have worked with before or that are of interest for various reasons.


Historically, there are two old and well-established mobile markets in Africa. These are Egypt and South Africa. Located on opposite ends of the continent, these countries are very similar: mobile traffic from these GEOs has been monetized for 20 years already, these markets have passed through all evolution stages from paid SMS to click subscriptions; Empello, a British company selling anti-fraud software to mobile operators, has established its presence in both countries and is standing in the way of fraudsters, spammers and other swindlers. There is little point in looking at these markets: they have been burnt out and may be of interest only if some other types of mobile payments are introduced, such as paid calls, for example.

What region you should pay special attention to is Central Africa. On Google Maps, this is a green area visible from space.

Around the globe for profit. Mobile traffic on different continents

This part of Africa is characterized by the presence of European-based operators such as Vodafone and Orange, as well as MTN from South Africa. The main languages spoken in Central Africa are English and French.

French Orange represented by Bizao, a master aggregator and content provider, puts a lot of effort into the development of this region. Bizao connected more than 10 African countries to mobile telephony. At World Telemedia 2019, it reported on its great success both in terms of commerce and payment technologies spread.

The region’s most stable markets are Nigeria and Kenya. Both these countries are characterized by active economic development and a large population with growing purchasing power. In these countries, it is easier to find active campaigns run by your competitors, copy them and drive a lot of traffic. The real problem for businesses here is withdrawing their money. For instance, mobile carrier Safaricom has a hold period of up to 18 months. Bear this in mind when choosing an affiliate network.

The DRC, Senegal, Cameroon, Angola and Tanzania markets can also become very hot in 2020.

Note: be sure to look up some local news before launching your ads. I have been in situations where the traffic was not coming all because there was a revolution raging on the streets (Iran) or a mudslide was destroying everything on its way (Peru).


Two Americas are like two different worlds.

North America is of no interest in terms of mobile traffic in 2020. In the USA, mobile carriers can legally charge their customers only for communication services. As it often happens, Canada follows the US lawmaking practices in this regard, and so we have nothing to look for there as well.

Let’s head south. Once we leave the USA, an unfathomable see of opportunities opens up.

Mexico is home to more than 133 million people and is the tenth most populous country in the world. Mobile communication there is provided by three American operators: AT&T, Movistar (Telefonica), and Telcel (America Movil). Value-Added Services have not been legally banned in Mexico, and so operators support a wide range of user monetization models: Premium SMS, PIN Submit, Click. 88% of users are connected to mobile telephony on a prepayment basis. At least 50% of Internet users browse the web from their phones.

We are heading further south.

For me, Central America is associated with offshores and the Prison Break series. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica sound really beautiful to me, and I have yet to explore these countries. If you have an expertise in this area, please leave a comment below or contact me on Telegram.

Despite its remote location, I know South America quite well. This region is dominated by American and European mobile carriers. People from South American states mainly speak Spanish and Portuguese.

It’s interesting to note that personnel of telecom companies constantly rotates at the country level: top managers are working in some country for two years and after that they are reassigned to another country in the same region and within the same mobile carrier group such as Movil or O2. Therefore, companies that have been around for 20 years or more know everyone and everywhere. Connecting a new VAS provider poses a serious difficulty. However, the right local partner can quickly update you on the market situation on the entire continent.

Betting is very popular among today’s affiliates. Pay attention to Peru, it’s among the very few countries that don’t ban mobile betting.

A number of countries in this region are facing political instability. In 2019, Venezuela was among the most dangerous places on the planet. Time will tell what will happen this year.

Argentina, Guatemala, and Colombia are characterized by low payouts. Brazil, the region’s largest market, is now at the transformation stage: mobile subscriptions have already been disabled, while new monetization models haven’t been introduced yet. Perhaps TIM Brazil will start accepting traffic again this year, and this is the largest mobile carrier in South America.

Share what you know about these countries while I am writing my new article.

Next time we will talk about Asia. After all, I’m writing a column and not a book, so we’ll continue next time.

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