17 Jan 2011

Value-added services to be catalyst for growth in Africa’s telecoms market

As the African telecommunications market matures, operators are increasingly looking at value-added services in order to boost their growth. Consumer needs are unique to African markets, so telcos have to be innovative to develop the services that will meet their requirements and their budgets.

Informa Telecoms & Media estimated the mobile VAS market in Africa to be worth over US$5.5 billion in 2010. Over the next five years, the market is expected to grow at a strong compound annual growth rate of around 22% and to be generating revenues of over US$11.5 billion by 2014. Currently South Africa is by far the largest VAS market representing a third of the continent’s revenues with over US$1.5 billion in 2010, ahead of Nigeria and Egypt.

Among the most cited services expected to boost operators’ revenues are messaging (which currently account for just over 80% of VAS revenues in Africa), mobile money services and m-health opportunities. Mobile entertainment services(e.g. mobile music, games, images, TV and video) still represent a marginal section of operators’ revenues, but expectations are high, particularly as mobile internet access is increasing. The FIFA World Cup was a great moment for operators to push content services, as Cambridge Mokanyane, Head of 2010 FIFA World Cup for lead sponsor MTN said in his inspiring presentation at AfricaCom last November. The question now is how to keep the momentum to ensure that entertainment services continue growing.

In order to address this booming market, the Com World Series is launching a new event: VAS Africa, to be held in Sandton, South Africa on 6th and 7th July 2011. The conference programme will include operator keynotes, case studies, new product briefs and interactive discussions on the hottest topics in the market: market forecasts, mobile entertainment partnerships, messaging and social networking, mobile advertising and marketing, mobile money, and cost-effective VAS management.

The event will bring together heads of VAS and commercial directors from operators, content providers and aggregators, VAS solutions suppliers, regulators, consultants, financial institutions and more. The programme is currently being produced so don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team to be involved.