23 Mar 2012

Friday News Round Up of the Week's Hot Stories

Emerging markets are increasingly seen as hubs of innovation and creative start-ups in their own right – not just attractive investment prospects. So in this age of activity, advancement and never ending news, we thought we’d put together a list of all the Hot stories we come acrossThe Com World Series team live and breathe emerging markets, so we want to make sure we spread the news!
Hot Stories in Emerging Market

Why mobile operators should consider startup funding in Africa:

30 brilliant African tech startups:

The Top 10 Mobile Apps in Africa:

MTN to spend R24bn on infrastructure this year:


Next step in 21st century education for students in Africa:
Blog Spot
Tunisiana's Ken Campbell talks about his company's strategy ahead of his participation to North Africa Com:
Image of the Moment
Mobile Devices in Africa:
Webinar of this Week
Two-Sided Business Model with OTT apps and SPs hindered by risk adverse culture among telecom operators:

The Com World Series team concentrates on emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East and Eurasia 24/7 – 365 days of the year.

22 Mar 2012

Inspiring EurasiaCom event addresses challenges and opportunities in the new communications ecosystem

The 8th annual EurasiaCom conference and exhibition took place this week in Istanbul and showed a shift in the debates which were traditionally focused on telcos's strategies and infrastructure developments.
As participants from the region's communcations sector gathered to debate the challenges and opportunities for all stakeholders in the new digital ecosystem, the main message of the conference was one of major change in the market: with the growth of new players such as OTT and content providers, operators need to adapt to sustain growth and to maintain the relation with their customers.
Keynote speakers Cengiz Oztelcan (Director of International Operations at Turk Telekom) and Ekrem Yener (Chief International Expansion Officer at Turkcell) both insisted on the need for new business models for operators. Mr Oztelcan said his company was creating a horizontal model rather than a vertically-integrated one, covering a wide ecosystem; Mr Yener said he didn't see his company as a telecoms operator but as a technology company, and that it may change to becoming a service company. Other operators - such as MTS, Avea, Kyivstar, Antenna Hungary, Makedonski Telekom, and more - agreed that they need to innovate and to build new partnerships in order to answer customers' changing needs.
Non-operator brands were also present to give their perspectives on the market, and they raised some challenging thoughts. Salih Ozka of Nokia gave his vision of a market where "in a few years' time the top 3 global operators will be Apple, Google and Microsoft; the traditional telcos will have to adapt now if they want to stay in the game".
The event also provided many networking opportunities - the exhibition was buzzing with people continuing the debates and meeting new contacts and potential suppliers. For the first time at EurasiaCom a Speed Networking session allowed sponsors to make face-to-face contacts with senior operators. Participants also enjoyed more informal networking time at the end of the day at the Drinks Reception sponsored by Comptel.
EurasiaCom was sponsored by HP, Commscope, Comptel, Comviva and Jinny Software. It will take place again in Istanbul in 2013 on 19-20 March.

19 Mar 2012

Andy Brauer - CTO at BCX - discusses Cloud in Africa

Business Connexion's (BCX) CTO Andy Brauer chatted to the Com World Series team about Cloud ahead of the industry leading event - Cloud Africa - which is taking place in Johannesburg on the 23-24 May.

CWS: How would you describe existing ‘’cloud services’’ in Africa?

AB: Cloud Services in Africa are on the increase and gaining momentum.

CWS: What would you say is the level of awareness about cloud in your country/region’s ICT market?

AB: The Awareness is high and the understanding is starting to improve.

CWS: How rapidly do you think the adoption of cloud will reducing capital and operational expenditure for enterprises in Africa?

AB: This depends on which models you use the Capex will we reduced but the Opex can under some circumstances increase.

CWS: What do you think is needed to drive improved and cheaper bandwidth in Africa for cloud?

AB: The Fibre is In the Ground it is getting the last mile fired up which will bring the real competition and lead to better prices

CWS: Have you seen an increase in IT spend (in your business/country/region), and if yes, has it included investment in cloud?

AB: Yes 15% in cloud

CWS: What do you think is preventing enterprises in Africa from implementing cloud?

AB: Enterprises cannot switch to a cloud quickly as they have current investment. What is happening is that they are going for new services Which they are moving to a cloud base. Power and Bandwidth are some of the concerns, there is still a perception about security but internet banking is a form of Cloud which most people already use.

CWS: What do you think are the 3 key advantages gained by companies using cloud as part of their IT services?

AB: Cost Reduction - Agility - Faster time to launch New busienss

CWS: Which key message do you want to highlight during your participation at Cloud Africa in Johannesburg later this year?

AB: Cloud is about service choice and the models take on a more peer to peer nature as time progresses.

Andrew John Brauer is CTO at Business Connexion and has extensive local and international ICT experience and is involved in researching and introducing new technologies to create business value. His strengths include networking telecommunications, system management, open source software development and service-orientated architecture, and now developing cloud computing models.

Brauer has worked on most of the technologies in the ICT arena. These include: electronics, telecommunication, software development, system and network management, system integration, strategy, operations, management and business development.

The leadership roles which he has held over the years include technical director, chief information officer and executive director. His current role is CTO – being internally and externally focused. He is on the Research and Advisory panel of the Mereka Institute at the Council for Industrial and Science and a runner up in the ITWeb Visonary awards for 2011.

For more information about the Cloud Africa event click here.

Tunisiana's Ken Campbell talks about his company's strategy ahead of his participation to North Africa Com

Ken Campbell was appointed CEO of Qtel-owned Tunisiana in December 2011. He was CCO at the Tunisian operator in 2003-2004, before moving on to Vodafone Romania, Bite Group in the Baltic region, and WIND in Italy. At the time of his appointment, Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qtel Group, said: “Ken brings great experience and track record in the commercial and customer services, and will prove instrumental in ensuring that the quality of customer experience is consistently at the highest possible levels.”
The Com World Series team asked him his thoughts on Tunisia's telecoms, media and ICT market, and his strategy for the company.

CWS: What is Tunisiana’s position in Tunisia’s telecoms, media and ICT market?
KC: Tunisiana is the leading mobile operator in Tunisia. Offering mobile services directly and internet services through its Tunet affiliate, Tunisiana is also bidding for a 3G and fixed line license in order to extend its offering.

CWS: You came back to Tunisiana in late 2011 – How do you think the company has changed since you last were there in 2004?
KC:The company has certainly developed a lot since 2003. We were the challenger back then and now we are the leader. The company today has a strong, quality infrastructure with a wide range of services - and is led by a very experienced and high quality management team.

CWS: What are your objectives and how do you see Tunisiana’s strategy evolve in the years to come?
KC: Our main objective in the short term is to secure a license for fixed and 3G services. Assuming we are successful in this, our goal is to become the leading communications provider in Tunisia on all dimensions. In achieving this, we will maintain a focus on delivering the best customer experience in the country.

CWS: What are the main challenges affecting the development of the telecoms, media & ICT market in the region, and more particularly in Tunisia?
KC: Historically, I would say that the main challenge was a regulatory challenge. The market was far from transparent and the regulator was handcuffed by the political establishment. Today, we have a government that wants clear and open competition between the players and is intent on providing a strong environment for investment and growth. We also see a regulator that is more independent and intent and working in the interests of the consumer and the health of the industry. The challenge is to achieve all of this but I see a desire and willingness that will get us there.

CWS: Which trends or services do you think will shape the market in the coming year(s)?
KC: Data and IP connectivity are clearly the drivers of change and development. We are obviously looking forward to the increased performance and improved experience that will come with 3G and eventually LTE. I also see lower cost 3G handsets allowing for more people to use rich data applications. A lot of factors are converging to provide a healthy environment for growth in our market.

CWS: What has been in the impact of the Arab Spring on the business climate in the region and more particularly in Tunisia?
KC: People emerged from the revolution very optimistic about the future. This optimism is somehow offset by the economic reality that change will take time and that businesses have suffered. I think business people are still a little nervous. Investors do not like uncertainty and so they will wait to see how the government and people react to this new democracy. While I expect 2012 to be slower, I am hopeful that business will improve in 2013 as investors see the potential in this country and the people here.

CWS: How important is the North Africa Com event in promoting the telecoms, media & ICT market in the region and what do you expect from your participation?
KC: I am very pleased that Tunis is hosting this event. I look forward to meeting my regional counterparts and talking about our challenges and mutual growth opportunities. I expect good discussion and sharing throughts - and I welcome our counterparts in the industry to Tunis.

Ken Campbell will be a keynote speaker at North Africa Com, taking place in Tunis on 15-16 May, alongside other leaders from the region's operators, regulators, content providers, investors and more.