Africa is the fastest-growing mobile phone market in the world, according to analysis and research firm Informa Telecoms & Media, which said in a press release issued today that it expects mobile subscriptions in Africa to have grown to more than 760 million by the end of 2012.

That would be 17.5% growth during the year (while the world average is 10.75%), according to Informa, and puts the continent on track to reach 1 billion mobile subscriptions by 2015.

"[S]ubstantial opportunities for further growth remain, because the rate of mobile penetration in Africa is the lowest among major world regions and fixed networks are under-developed or absent across much of the continent," said Informa analyst Matthew Reed.

Africa's penetration rate is at 67.55% compared to 91.1% for the world average, said Informa.The largest market, Nigeria, passed the 100-million subscriber mark this year and is expected to have 169 million subscribers by the end of 2017, followed by Egypt with 129 million at that time, according to Informa.