7 Apr 2011

Mobile subscriptions in West & Central Africa predicted to increase 68% over next 5 years to reach 310m+

The West and Central Africa region has consistently been the fastest-growing in Africa in the past few years. Mobile subscriptions in West & Central Africa are predicted to increase another 68% over the next 5 years to reach in excess of 310m.  Over this period, the strongest subscriber growth is expected in the telecom markets of DRC, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo.   Competition for these new customers is fierce though, as operators compete with new entrants in a more crowded environment.

Unlike East Africa, where competition has been fought mainly on price, West & Central African operators in the region’s more developed markets have harnessed improved connectivity as a way of increasing customers.  They have invested in their networks to offer value added services such as mobile money transfer, which are regarded as a customer retention tool and way to increase rural coverage.  Data services, in particular mobile broadband is now offered in 7 of the region’s 24 markets.

Despite these clear developments, it’s still early days in the provision of these new services in West & Central Africa, and the companies which will succeed in seizing the best opportunities will have to move fast and be innovative. 

This June, 700+ telcos from across the region will meet at West & Central Africa Com conference and exhibition to discuss how to seize these opportunities.  Find out more at www.comworldseries.com/wcafrica

4 Apr 2011

Regional Telecom Leaders Prepare to Set Strategies for Capitalising on New Networks and Services at East Africa Com Conference in Nairobi Tomorrow

Tomorrow, over 650 telecom leaders from across East Africa will gather in Nairobi at East Africa Com conference (www.comworldseries.com/eafrica).  Their agenda for the 2 days is to establish strategies, set best practice benchmarks and find innovative ways of capitalising on the new networks and services in the fiercely competitive East African market.

Subscription growth remains high in East Africa, but this is not driven by an increase in customers, rather multiple SIM usage as a result of fierce price wars amongst the operators.  This has had a negative impact on ARPU which has declined to reach just US$7.13.  New players, the imminent introduction of mobile number portability and improved connectivity has forced operators to look beyond price as a winning competitive tool. 

New opportunities for operators now lie in the provision of value added services and mobile broadband but services are still evolving and an optimum business model is still to be established.  It is for this purpose that 650 telecom leaders will meet tomorrow at East Africa Com conference, 5-6 April.  Representatives will include mobile, fixed, satellite and WiMAX operators, ISPs, MVNOs, regulators, ministers, solutions and technology providers, investors and consultants to ensure a truly 360 degree perspective of the market.  Attendees will pool their different perspectives, ideas and experiences to set strategies around convergence, broadband, LTE, value added services, telecoms Fraud and connecting rural areas. 

The 2 days of discussions will be led by a panel of 45+ speakers representing leaders of the region’s most dynamic operators, from pan-regional investors (Pan-regional players Orange France-Telecom and Airtel Africa, represented by Vice President Michel BarrĂ© and Group Director of Networks Bayan Moadjem respectively), incumbent operators (such as Telkom Kenya and their CEO Mikhail Ghossein), competitive mobile operators (with CxOs from Safaricom, Vivacell Southern Sudan, Zantel Tanzania, Airtel Kenya, amongst others), the self proclaimed original triple play provider in Africa, Wananchi (represented by Group CEO Richard Bell, and Kenya’s Country Manager Peter Reinartz), alternative service providers (Jamii Telecom, Roke Telkom Uganda) and more.

For more information on East Africa Com and to attend please visit www.comworldseries.com/eafrica