26 Jul 2013

What’s the best way to sell to Telecoms Operators?

A recent study has undertaken analysis of the operator procurement process and concluded that events are a valuable source of supplier-selection:

The content below is re-posted from the CC Group blog

Vendors are facing some of the toughest trading conditions ever. It has never been so difficult to ‘sell’ to operators. It’s not just uncontrollable macro-economic factors that are frustrating vendor sales and marketing efforts. The manner in which operators buy has changed. However, many vendors are not changing how they market and sell in response to new operator buying habits.
ConneCt and CCG logos 2
ConneCt from CCgroup
To address the challenge, we undertook a comprehensive analysis of operator procurement processes. Our ConneCt study reveals the communications platforms that drive vendor inclusion in operator procurement, the influencing factors when shortlisting, and the critical factors in vendor selection. Here are some of the key top-level findings:
What are the most influential platforms that drive RFX inclusion?
• Unsurprisingly, having an existing relationship with the operator running the RFX – the enormous significance of peer relationships stresses the importance of industry networking to build and develop fruitful connections
• Professional analysts are critical in building influence – both internal business analysts and external industry analysts
• Industry events are still valued by operator executives when it comes to technology decision making – mostly in terms of building those networks mentioned in the first point
• Media coverage and presence is listed as an important part of the armoury, especially given its influence over other communications platforms such as internal analysts and tradeshows.
What factors influence operators’ shortlisting of potential suppliers?
• Yet again, having a previous relationship and familiarity with the supplier was rated the highest influencing factor.
• The reputation and market profile of a vendor was the second most influential factor on RFX selection and shortlisting.
• Anecdotal conversation suggests that the manner in which this reputation and profile is ‘realised’ is through channels such as media prominence, positioning in analyst reports, award wins and presence on the speaker circuit.
What factors influence which vendor is finally selected?
• Price rears its head at decision time – but overall, operators are more concerned about value. They want to understand costs saved, revenues generated, business models advanced or protected, or opportunities created as a result of a particular vendor’s solution.
• Vendors must prove their capability to deliver. Operators are unwilling to take ‘chances’ on untried and untested vendors and technologies. They require “proof” and evidence of claims made.
• Vendors must demonstrate practical vision through a roadmap for future solutions and post-sales support is a critical hygiene factor. Substance – demonstrating value, delivery and understanding are more important at this stage in an RFX process.
How can vendors better engage with telecoms operators?
To succeed, sales and marketing teams must expect and demand more of each other. Accessing and influencing the operator procurement process is intensely challenging for vendors today – but it can be done extremely effectively. It demands a symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing functions and the integration of various communications to deliver the campaigns that will make the difference.
A copy of the full research findings and key recommendations on how to successfully navigate this process are contained within the ConneCt white paper,available here.

Kenya, Malawi and Afghanistan in the Global Mobile headlines round-up this week..

Kenya launches US$2.8 bil. national broadband strategy
The Kenyan government has launched a KES250 billion (US$2.8 billion) National Broadband Strategy (NBS) aimed at transforming the country into a knowledge-based economy by providing reliable, high capacity broadband services to all citizens in the country by 2030. The strategy will involve the development of a countrywide broadband infrastructure, support of national capacity building and awareness as well as content development and innovations. The government will exploit various finance sources including the broadband infrastructure bond and the broadband venture capital. The government also plans to increase its budgetary allocation in the ICT sector from 0.5% to 5% in future. Kenya becomes the second country in Africa after South Africa to launch a detailed national broadband strategy. According to the latest statistics from the regulator, Kenya had 16.2 million Internet users as at end-4Q12, representing a penetration of 41.1%.

Malawi introduces a 16.5% tax on Internet services
The government of Malawi has introduced 16.5% VAT on Internet services which has seen the cost passed on to the consumers by the service providers. The country’s leading mobile operator Airtel Malawi has increased its mobile data tariffs by an average of 16.72% while its rival Telekom Network Malawi (TNM) has increased its tariffs by between 16.5% and 25%. According to Informa Telecoms & Media research, Malawi had 352,000 mobile broadband subscribers as at end-4Q12.

MCIT Afghanistan strikes deal with mobile operators for network expansion
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and IT (MCIT) has entered into an agreement with some of the country’s mobile operators to expand the network to underserved areas, funded by the Telecommunication Development Fund. The deal will see the deployment of 240 new base stations in 34 provinces, covering an estimated half a million people.

Du 2Q13 revenues up by 12% Y-o-Y
UAE operator Du’s 2Q13 revenues rose by 12.05% year-on-year, from AED2.37 billion (US$645 million) to AED2.66 billion (US$724 million). Net profit pre-royalty rose by 19.5% over the same period to AED778 million (US$211.8 million) for 2Q13. Revenue growth was driven by a 13.33% increase in mobile sales to AED2.07 billion, with data revenues rising by 44.81% year-on-year. The company added 14,400 new mobile customers as its mobile subs base increased to 6.65 million. The company’s strategic goals are to look out for market leading products and services, and to maintain cost efficiency measures.

Taken from Global Mobile Daily:  

Global Mobile Daily
Global news from the mobile telecoms industry
Headlines for July26, 2013

Global Mobile Daily: ISSN 1099-730X
Copyright 2012 Informa UK Ltd.

22 Jul 2013

Helios Towers Africa buys into Vodacom Tanzania’s tower network

Africa’s leading tower company Helios Towers Africa (HTA) through its Tanzanian subsidiary Helios Towers Tanzania (HTT) has signed an agreement with Vodacom Tanzania to acquire 100% of its existing tower network in the country.

Under the agreement, Vodacom Tanzania will benefit from cash and a 24.5% stake in exchange for 1,149 towers. The operator will also benefit from a significant increase in point of service and will lease back the passive infrastructure as per a long term agreement.

HTA was incorporated in 2009 and operates in Ghana, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo with an overall network of 4,700 towers. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Middle East & Africa

Orange Kenya partners with Asus to promote data usage
Kenya’s fourth largest mobile operator Orange Kenya has partnered with Asus, the global notebook vendor to launch three notebook models into the Kenyan market. The devices will be available in selected Orange stores countrywide either as standalone units or bundled with 3G or CDMA data modems for a retail price of between KES42,999(US$489.8) and KES56,999. Through the agreement, Orange Kenya hopes to boost data consumption in its network.

Mobilis extends network coverage to rural Algeria
Mobilis has further expanded its network coverage in line with the celebration of the country's 51 year independence and the holy month of Ramadan. The operator is now the sole provider in the remote villages of Tamadjart, Arekine and Tiferine in the Illizi district (wilaya) and Ghourd Nouss and Zaouiat Sidi Moussa in Bordj Omar Driss.  In addition, two new base stations have been put in place in the two towns near the In Amenas oil facility, Amenas and Ohanet. The operator is to set up retail outlets in all the newly connected areas.

Nedjma launches smartphone offer
Algerian operator, Nedjma, has launched a new Ramadan offer, whereby those who subscribe to its “One” package will receive a free smartphone. A One 4000 package offers unlimited on net calls between 6am and 6pm for DZD4 (US$0.05) per minute for off-net calls and SMS for 2DZD per SMS for DZD4,000 with a two month upfront payment to receive the smartphone. A six month upfront payment is required for the One 1500 package which offers 500 minutes of free calls, unlimited free SMS to a favourite number and unlimited Mobile Facebook usage for DZD1,000. 

Taken from Global Mobile Daily:  http://www.informatandm.com/newsletters/

Global Mobile Daily
Global news from the mobile telecoms industry
Headlines for July 22, 2013

Global Mobile Daily:
ISSN 1099-730X
Copyright 2012 Informa UK Ltd.