Norwegian company Opera has released a report today which suggests the number of mobile phone users who use Opera to browse the web has topped the 200 million per month mark.
In its latest State of the Mobile Web report, the company says that the landmark number was passed in June -- and is up 47 percent from the same time frame last year.
Out of 200 million users per month, the Opera Mini browser accounts for 92 percent of users -- 183 million -- and Opera Mobile was registered by the remaining 17 million who use the browser on a monthly basis.
In June 2012, users of the Opera Mini browser viewed over 155 billion pages -- increasing page viewing rates by over 55 percent since 2011.
The report itself focuses on Opera's growth in African regions, where it seems that mobile device and data usage is not only growing, but becoming more advanced. Some of the highlights within the report include:
- 25 out of 53 countries -- 47 percent -- rate international news sites as the most popular source of up-to-date information. Countries included within this include the Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Libya and Côte d’Ivoire. Out of these 25 countries, 18 chose the BBC most often as a source of news.
- 36 countries more than doubled their Opera Mini user bases in just one year.
- In the year since the revolution, mobile usage has risen in Libya. In almost every category, Libyan users have increased their usage of Opera Mini -- including page views and data consumption.
- Côte d’Ivoire showed a very high rate of growth. The number of Opera Mini users rose 600 percent in one year. Page views grew 744 percent, and data usage grew 760 percent.
- Across Africa, data growth seems to outpace page-view growth. Potentially, this suggests that Africans are browsing larger pages and more advanced websites than in 2011.
CEO of Opera, Lars Boilesen, said:
"Two hundred million people use Opera Mini and Opera Mobile to connect to the world around them. For many of them, 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. Providing a service that reliably and cheaply delivers critical information to just about everyone with a phone is the reason Opera makes browsers."
According to the company, who is well-known for its data compression technology and techniques, the following rates for data usage would have been 90 percent higher if data compression did not occur. The Norwegian firm said it facilitated the use of over 2,015 million MB of data -- up 88 percent from 2011 -- but this would have been over 20 petabytes if the data remained uncompressed. An impressive statistic for the company, although naturally a lack of compression would no doubt disturb pre-pay mobile users who rely on the Opera browser.