20 Apr 2012

Friday News Round-Up

As demonstrated at the East Africa Com event this week, emerging markets have become hubs of innovation and creative start-ups in their own right – with Kenya even earning the nickname of ‘Silicon Savannah’. 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 across.
The Com World Series team live and breathe emerging markets, so we want to make sure we spread the news!

Hot Stories in Emerging Markets

Mobile money a high risk for fraud – viewpoint from this week’s East Africa Com event

Millicom sees strong emerging market smartphone uptake

Safaricom to lay fibre for 'data tsunami'

Africa's stunning growth doesn't come cheap

Hot analysis on Digital Evolution

The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future

Blog Spot

700 Digital leaders networked & discussed growth opportunities at East Africa Com

Image of the moment

A bit of fun for Friday -  how not to do customer experience management

The Com World Series team concentrates on emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East and Eurasia 24/7 – 365 days of the year. You can follow the news with us by joining our online communities.

700 Digital leaders networked & discussed growth opportunities at East Africa Com

East Africa Com 2012’s conference and exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya came to a close today after 2 days filled by successful networking and learning. The second half of this premier, regional event took place today in the Safari Park Hotel, and it focused on services for customers; new content and apps, entrepreneurship, rural services, m-health, mobile money, mobile marketing & advertising (thanks to the dedicated Mobile Marketing Summit), customer experience management, and more...

The important line up of speakers included senior representatives from Orange Telkom Kenya, Airtel Africa, Universal Music Group, Spinlet (Africa’s Spotify), the CCK (Communications Commission of Kenya), amongst others. These visionaries touched on the most important issues affecting the region, and the audience responded well with many questions and networking opportunities throughout the 2 days. One speaker, Sakyi Opoku, Senior Marketing Manager from MTN Rawanda said ‘’the conference was well organised, the speakers were on point and [he] enjoyed the quality’’.

The East Africa Com event organisers, the Com World Series (an Informa Telecoms and Media team), were extremely pleased with the turn out too, with around 700 attendees through the doors across the 2 days overall. Of course this is especially thanks to the exceptional quality of the senior executives from operators, regulators, content providers, OTT players, and others that spoke. They are the inspiration, and they spark the audience’s imagination and questions and debate – all of which is so valuable to the regional telecoms, media and ICT industries.

So, asante sana to all the East Africa Com 2012 participants, thank you for your time and participation – see you at the next Com events (North Africa Com in Tunisia 15-16 May, Cloud Africa in Johannesburg 23-24 May, West & Central Africa Com in Dakar 13-14 June, VAS Africa in Johannesburg 3-4 July, AfricaCom in Cape Town 13-15 November) – and of course see you at the next East Africa Com – taking place on the 16-17 April 2013 in the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

Thank you to all the Sponsors of East Africa Com:

TI Sparkle
Spice VAS Africa

What our attendees said about this year's show:

"Definitely the place to be if you are in Telecoms. The event is very well organised and it is the place to be where you can meet 1 to 1 with key players and decision makers. Its like the Facebook of telecoms industry. Very fruitful"
Fayyaz Kasmani, CTO, Netconnexions

"East Africa Com ended up being an outstanding networking event, where I was able to connect to some of the top executives in East Africa telecom space" Eric Hersman, Co-Founder Ushahidi & iHub

"The event was very impressive especially with the presentations and how the exhibitors demonstrated their new products and solutions. It is interesting to see the way they all harness the present and future of the latest telecoms and IT products" Njenga Kimani - Flashcom

"‎Excellent networking opportunity with senior management professionals. If you would like to be face-to-face with the keyplayers in East African Telecoms, this conference is unrivaled!" Josh Lowenthal, Managing Director - International Operations, Freeconferencecall.com

Read the 300 tweets from our attendees during the event:


Don't forget to share your thoughts on this year's East Africa Com

Tweet about your experience using #EastAfricaCom on twitter!


See You Next Year!

East Africa Com
16-17 April 2013
Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

To get involved early for the 2013 show,
please visit our website: http://eaafrica.comworldseries.com

17 Apr 2012

East Africa Com Day 1 Summary

***Join us for day 2!*** Share your thoughts on #EastAfricaCom
East Africa Com
17-18 April 2012
Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya
East Africa Com – Day 1
Today saw the opening of East Africa Com 2012, the 7th annual event, in the beautiful Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. The influential leaders of the East African telecoms, media and ICT industries gathered to learn, network and debate all things digital.
The 2012 event has a completely fresh conference agenda, engaging the senior operator representatives to talk about the biggest of their challenges and opportunities, whilst also involving more start-ups and disruptive players.
It kicked off with an incisive market overview given by ITM’s Senior Analyst, Thecla Mbongue, who commented that mobile subscriptions have grown 31% (94 million) since 2011. This is considering the fact that penetration is still low, with 149 million people still to be connected – clearly a huge opportunity remains in the region.
Other speakers passed on their vision for East Africa throughout the morning of high-level presentations and interactive discussions. These included Mickael Ghossein, CEO of Orange Telkom Kenya, Neil Ahlsten from OTT player Google, Richard Bell, CEO of OTT player Wananchi Group, Jamii Telecoms, Mobile Monday Kenya, amongst others. The key messages included the extent of the strain of data on networks, the opportunity for future growth in markets like Ethiopia, smart-phones and OTT content.
The afternoon continued with a well attended Cloud and Enterprise track, and an LTE and Mobile Broadband session. The day was tied up by a cost efficiency focus, with delegates then kicking back for an informal networking drinks session.
It all certainly bodes well for the second day of the event, with more disruptive players taking the stage and a focus on content and apps for the region. Don’t miss it!

Jim Machi, SVP of Marketing at Dialogic shares his views on the Wireless Data Challenge

Dialogic is Networking Drinks Sponsor for East Africa Com taking place today and tomorrow.

Jim Machi is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dialogic. Here he shares his views about the Wireless Data Challenge.

We’ve all read about the surge in wireless data traffic that has happened the past few years and is expected to continue going forward. You probably know people who own a smartphone and an iPad and a laptop and use all of them. Or you know people who are simply glued to their iPhones seemingly all day. So in your little world, you get it. But it is hard to comprehend what this means on a global basis.

For the last few years, the Cisco Visual Networking Index report has been a good way to check out what’s going on. Simply go to the website and download the report. There was an update published right before Mobile World Congress and it has some excellent little tidbits including:

- Mobile video traffic exceeded 50% for the first time last year
Smartphones represent only 12% of total global handsets in use today, but they represent over 82% of total global handset traffic

That last point holds a key about whether the mobile data surge will continue. Because if smartphones represent only 12% of total global handsets today, what will happen if they represent say, 50% of total global handsets? The biggest growth potential is in developing countries.

Dialogic recently collaborated with IDC Asia on a Telecom Trends and Insight report called “Confronting Telecom’s Network Challenge.” While this report is specific to Asia, certainly there are parallels with the developing parts of Asia and the developing parts of Africa and South America. The report states, “Perhaps the biggest opportunity for service providers across the region will be in emerging Asia, with the introduction of US$100 smartphones. For the past five years, the costs of Blackberrys and iPhones have been prohibitive for the vast majority of the population in emerging Asia, but this does not negate the aspirations or strong desire for mobile technology in these countries.”

In other words, more economical smartphones will make a huge impact on mobile data traffic! Or put another way, data and video traffic will surely continue.

So the question becomes, how do service providers satisfy their subscribers while at the same time make money? After all, there will clearly be network stress for many years to come. So there are going to have to be solutions, most likely a combination of them.

One solution is the implementation of pricing plans to limit the ‘bandwidth hogs.’ This has already happened and the wireless service providers will likely continue to tune this.

But there are other solutions as well, such as making the cellular networks faster and/or upgrading the networks. However, while that makes the connection faster, it may actually have an interesting side effect. That is, since it is faster, people will use it more! In fact, according to the Cisco VNI report, a 4G connection generated 28 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection!

So now what? Another possible solution is to offload the mobile traffic to fixed networks. An example of this is when you are on Wifi, say sitting in a city cafĂ©, or in your own home. The data coming to or from your laptop, tablet or smartphone will be on the WiFi wireless network, but that’s only for the first or last 100 feet. According to the Cisco VNI report I mentioned earlier, that is already 33% of the traffic to smartphones and tablets.

But since you are not always going to be close to a WiFi connection or some kind of femtocell, what else can you do? The IDC “Confronting Telecom’s Network Challenge Report” also gives another viewpoint on this. The report says, “Telcos across the region have experienced a surge in mobile network and congestion, and many have been forced to invest heavily in backhaul infrastructure, increased capacity and network optimization.”

In other words, another potential remedy to the bandwidth crunch issue is to install mobile backhaul optimization and network optimization solutions. These solutions can provide ROI to the service provider in as little as four to six months. Read the report and visit our optimization webpage for more information.

You are invited to attend Dialogic's Networking Drinks Reception at East Africa Com taking place at 5pm today by the outdoor pool at the Safari Park Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya.