20 Jun 2012

Devices are crucial to the next stage of development in Africa’s digital market

Data, content, apps and internet access are providing African and Middle Eastern operators with major opportunities for revenue growth. These services are particularly important for the younger customers who make up the most promising segment.

Operators have been working tirelessly (and investing accordingly) to improve their networks and provide reliable and affordable broadband access. However they cannot ignore the importance of handsets and devices in ensuring that consumers use these new services.

According to a recent report by David McQueen, Principal Analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, "Africa and the Middle East (excluding Israel and Turkey) were estimated to have combined handset sales of 196.3 million in 2011. The annual total of handset sales are expected to continue growing in the region, driven by the increasing number of subscribers. In 2012, handset sales will be up 10.3% and will go on to reach 287.6 million by 2016. By then, Informa Telecoms & Media estimates that Africa will account for 73.8% of the region's sales."
AfricaCom 2012 will for the first time dedicate a keynote session to the importance of developing a Handset & Smart Devices Vision for Africa.

The discussion will bring together operators, device manufacturers and OS platform representatives to discuss:

- the device market in Africa and current needs from all stakeholders including consumers
- how to offer a suitable range of devices including low-cost handsets, smartphones and tablets
- which platforms will be most successful in Africa and for what segments

Already confirmed panellists include Léon Charles Ciss, VP Marketing AMEA at Orange Group; José Henriques, Marketing Director of Unitel Angola, and Vérone Mankou, CEO of VMK who produced the first African tablet and is also ICT Advisor for the Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and ICT in Congo. The panel discussion will also include representatives of international handset manufacturers to be announced soon.

For informaton on the speaking opportunities at AfricaCom please contact Julie Rey on julie.rey@informa.com