18 May 2012

Friday News Round-Up

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 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
Africa: Harnessing Information and Communication Technologies

Somalia Telecoms: Cashless doesn't mean broke


Leading Telecom player launches mobile network in Africa

UAE's Du eyes MVNO opportunities after Q1 profit jump

Africa leads the world in mobile money - The Economist:

Batelco scraps tower lease plan in favour of infrastructure sharing

Webinars To Watch

4G networks and beyond - building for today, planning for tomorrow

Smart Policy Control and Charging in Converging IP Networks http://webinars.telecoms.com/webinar/smart-policy-control/?token=tcoms

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.

17 May 2012

Google Apps: The Executives Guide - preview of the Grove workshop at Cloud Africa

By Annette Gardner, Digital Marketing Manager at Grove Group 

There is a new way of working that gives you everything your business needs and the tools your employees want - all rolled into one.

As a business executive your major concerns for the future growth of your business lie, essentially, in cost and productivity. If you can reduce investment and recurring costs and increase productivity that has to be a good thing right?

What is Google Apps?

Google Apps for Business is a cloud-based office IT tool with a difference. It is web based email, calendar and docs that lets you work from anywhere, at any time and through any device.

With Google Apps, all your work is automatically saved in the cloud. You’ll have access to everything and be able to work securely, no matter where you are in the world and what device you're on.

For your business, this means every employee and everyone you work with can be productive from anywhere, using any device with an Internet connection.

Google Apps allows you to:

      Share with anyone: Share documents, spreadsheets & presentations with collaborators both inside and outside your organisation - you control who can see what and what changes they can make
      Real Time Collaboration: Multiple people can view and edit the same document at the same time, in real time - so no more problems with multiple versions and locked documents

So that takes care of productivity - staff who can collaborate more easily are in essence more productive.

What about cost?

The joy of Cloud Computing, amongst other benefits, is that you only pay for what you use. There’s no legacy infrastructure that needs to be updated to the ‘latest version’, and there’s no paying for licenses that you don’t need. With Google Apps additional licenses are quick and easy to add, and remove.  Updates? You get them automatically, as they are released by Google, at no extra cost.

Why spend money on technology you’ll never use to capacity, when in the cloud you can pay for what you use and increase and decrease the services you need on demand?

In Summary

This unrivalled ease-of-use/access dramatically increases collaboration and ideas-sharing - having a knock on effect of increased productivity - something we all want. And the reductions in cost speak for themselves.

Grove & Google Workshop @ Cloud Africa Com

23-24 May 2012
The Midrand Conference Centre

Limited Spaces available - Register  @  www.groveis.com/registerforworkshop

16 May 2012

Broadband, convergence, content and regulation were key issues at North Africa Com 2012

***    Share your thoughts on #NorthAfricaCom

 North Africa Com 2012
Took place on 15-16 May 2012
At the Sheraton Tunis Hotel, Tunisia
Visit our website: www.comworldseries.com/nafrica 

Day 2 Summary

 North Africa Com 2012 took place in Tunis this week, with 500 participants from across the region and beyond. Over two days they shared their experiences and visions for the region's changing  telecommunications, media and ICT market.

The evolution of the communications ecosystem, as well as the impact of the revolutions in the region have created new challenges but mostly new opportunities for industry stakeholders and consumers alike.

The conference sessions at the event included presentations, case studies and panel discussions to address the most important topics in the region. From the debate, it transpired that broadband access is improving thanks to 3G, LTE and fixed line developments; convergence and smartphone developments enable new content and apps.

This evolution allows operators and service providers to deliver better services to more demanding customers (both on the retail and the enterprise side). Regulation also plays an important part in the changes in the market.

Networking and experience sharing were an integral part of the event, with in particular a networking drinks reception and speed networking sessions. The co-located exhibition showcased the latest solutions for the region's operators to improve their businesses.

"Throughout the event there was a sense that the North Africa region is ready for a new stage of growth with new network developments, services and customer demands", says Julie Rey, Research Director of the Com World Series at organisers Informa Telecoms & Media; "We are pleased to have received the support of the region's leading operators to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices in North Africa's changing communications market".

The next events in the Com World Series will continue examining the changes in telecommunications, media and ICT in emerging markets.


Leading Speakers From The North African Digital Ecosystem 
- Fadhel Kraiem, Director General, Tunisie Telecom
- Michel Monzani, Senior VP, Middle East and North Africa Operations, Orange
- Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Vodafone Egypt
- Ken Campbell, CEO, Tunisiana
- Thierry Marigny, CEO, Orange Tunisie
- Nader Gohar, Chairman, CNC Cairo News Company; Chairman, ARABUEM, the Arab Union of Electronic Media Journalists
- Chafika Chamas, Founder and CEO, V-Net TV, Tunisia
- Antoine de Clerk, Marketing Director, Meditel, Morocco
- Dr Nani Ould Chrougha, President, ARE, Mauritania

Don't forget to share your thoughts on this year's North Africa Com  
Tweet about your experience using #NorthAfricaCom @allaboutcom on twitter!

Take a look at more photos from the packed busy conference

Click here: http://yfrog.com/ke9ijtsj

What our attendees said about this year's show:

- “The opening and the hall was full! Lot of attendees and good level”
Toni Eid, CEO, Telecoms Review

- "I really appreciated the congress. There was an important flux of information. I liked the exchange of information with Tunisians and particularly Tunisie Telecom. The content was rich and the themes were interesting. The Speed Networking sessions were interesting too: the exchange between participants was beneficial in terms of experiences, solutions, offers etc"
Ryma Abdelli, ATM Mobilis, Algeria

- "The themes discussed were interesting, good event organisation. The speed networking sessions were beneficial and interesting. The speakers were professional and of high quality, particularly on 3G"
Karima Belahsene, ATM Mobilis, Algeria

- "Good organisation of the event, professional and qualified speakers. The speed networking sessions were interesting because they allow to share experiences and facilitate contacts and relationship building for possible collaborations and partnership development"
Dalia Abderrahim, ATM Mobilis, Algeria

- "Excellent organisation, excellent welcome and very good conditions for the event. The themes were well chosen and the speakers were of high level. An event that is not to be missed for decision-makers in telecoms"
Anis Jeguerime, Tunisie Telecom, Tunisie

- "A very interesting event, innovative and well organised. I liked the exchange of ideas and experiences with high-level leaders. I hope it is repeated often"
Kalthoum Bousaida, Business Development Director, Tunisie Telecom

- "The content was good, the conference enriching. It was very professional in enabling meeting people and accessing the stands in the exhibition.
Afef Belhaj Makhlouf, Head of IN/ Data Charging and Vas Departement Orange Tunisie"

Thank you to all the Sponsors of North Africa Com:
- Tunisie Telecom
- Huawei
- Bics
- Inovar
- Corning
- Qualcomm

See You Next Year!
To get involved early for the 2013 show,  
please visit our website:  

North Africa Com 2013
14-15 May 2013
Sheraton Tunis, Tunisia
Website: www.comworldseries.com/nafrica 

Great opportunities in a post-revolution North African market, say participants at North Africa Com

***    Share your thoughts on #NorthAfricaCom

North Africa Com 2012
15-16 May 2012, Sheraton Tunis, Tunisia
Visit our Website: www.comworldseries.com/nafrica

Day 1 Summary  

The 7th Annual North Africa Com conference and exhibition opened yesterday in Tunis to discuss the evolution of the region’s telecommunications, media and ICT market.

The conference keynote included presentations and panel discussions with contributions from the region’s leading operators as well as media players.

The opening point of discussion was the impact of the Arab Spring on the communications market. Fadhel Kraiem, Director General of Tunisie Telecom, said that the revolution had changed customers’ expectations with now more demands for openness and development. Michel Monzani, SVP for MENA at Orange Group added that the revolution created an appetite for freedom and speed which expresses itself in the communications sector with more demand for fast access to people and content. Driving this new demand is the growing youth segment, particularly important to encourage the use of data and content.

A key element in the evolution of the market is the broadband access. The availability of 3G enables new possibilities in terms of content and applications, including new partnerships with different players in the ecosystem. Tunisiana recently received confirmation of its 3G licence; CEO Ken Campbell announced the services were going to launch before Ramadan this year. “North Africa is a booming market for broadband”, said Hossam Elgamal, MBB Senior Consultant at Huawei; “we’re here to introduce the latest technologies which will help this market catch up with the more advanced ones”.

Convergence also brings many opportunities to the market. From the Telco side, local loop unbundling in Tunisia will allow competitive operators to launch triple play services. Media companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of the convergence between telecoms and media. Nader Gohar from news agency CNC in Egypt said that “as a broadcaster, North Africa Com is a chance for me to meet people in the communications and ICT industry to help me see what the future of my profession is”.
 The event is a great opportunity to share ideas and best practice between stakeholders from across the region. For Tunisie Telecom, Technology Partner of the event, “as Tunisie Telecom is a major player in Tunisia’s telecommunications, economy and development, this event is a way of sharing our vision of the future of telecommunications and ICT with the region’s countries”, said Director General Fadhel Kraiem.

Networking opportunities were plenty, including a busy speed networking session yesterday morning. The conference and exhibition room were full and buzzing with conversations and impromptu meetings.

The event is continuing today with more contributions from the region’s leading companies, including Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat Misr, Tunisiana, Cellcom Tunisia and more.
What are your thoughts on this year's North Africa Com? 
Tweet about your experience using #NorthAfricaCom @allaboutcom on twitter! 

Take a look at the photos from the packed busy conference

Click here: http://yfrog.com/ke9ijtsj

What are delegates saying about North Africa Com?

“The opening and the hall was full! Lot of attendees and good level”
Toni Eid, CEO, Telecoms Review  
“I think that the first day was very interesting in terms of meetings and organization. Panellists presented very good slides/presentations. It was a very busy day and beneficial for all key players of telecom/IT and Media”
Hosni Mahjoub, Head of intelligence, Tunisie Telecom, Tunisia

«Au nom de tunisie telecom je vous remerci pour la bonne organisation et aussi la franchise du debat d'aujourdhui entre les chefs concurents qui ont pu soulever le defit d'un discourt directe.
Merci bien»
Ahmed Smidi,
legal advisor, Tunisie Telecom, Tunisia

«Themes discutes interessants. Bonne organisation de l'evenement. Sessions Networking benefiques et tres interessantes. Echanges favorises grace aux contacts faites. Intervenants professionnels de qualite. 3G session surtout avec l'example de Tunisie Telecom»
Karima Belahsene, Chef de Departement Reporting et Qualite ATM Mobilis, Algeria

«Le contenue c'est bien, j'aime les conferences, tres enrichissantes. Je trouve que c'est professionelle de rencontrer ces gens et d'avoir acces au divers stands bien exposes»
Afef Belhaj Makhlouf, Head of IN/ Data Charging and Vas Departement Orange Tunisie

Sponsors of North Africa Com
- Tunisie Telecom
- Huawei
- Bics
- Inovar
- Corning
- Qualcomm

African Infographics

15 May 2012

CEO of Saya Mobile speaks out on VAS in Africa

Robert Lamptey is the CEO of Saya Mobile - an Angel funded technology startup in the Meltwater incubator which launched a mobile chat application for feature phones and smartphones in emerging economies. In the 2 months since it launched it's flagship app Saya, it has seen download numbers exceeding 150 thousand, 2Million messages sent on the system, and 37 thousand active users.

The Com World Series caught up with Robert to learn a bit more about Saya, ahead of Robert's presentation at VAS Africa - Johannesburg, 3-4 July.

CWS: What does VAS mean to you?
RL: VAS to me is the provision of services that supplement any other services a user may have, or be using, on a Telco's infrastructure. VAS is the icing on the cake for Telecoms services and may come in different flavors to suit a particular demographic.

CWS: How would you describe the growth of Value Added Services in Africa over the past year?
RL: I think over the past year, Data services have become cheaper thereby fueling a new and improve breed of VAS in Africa. We have seen more creative VAS being implemented across Africa because of this. 

CWS: What do you think has been a major change in the nature of value added services in the past year?
RL: a. The influx of cheap smart phones (in particular android devices), b. Cheaper data services, and c. More mobile-centric software developers.  These have influenced a lot of changes in how VAS are being implemented and consumed in Africa.

CWS: How important do you think cost-efficiency is for the delivery of VAS and why?
RL: In any industry, cost-efficiency means more revenues and hence it is expedient that VAS be run cost-efficiently. This will also allow for more innovations to take place.
CWS: Who do you think are the major players in the African market (or your region) affecting the VAS industry?
RL: Firstly short code providers (examples from Ghana are Rancard Mobility, SMSGh, Mobile Content.Com, etc), and secondly Mobile App Developers (like Saya, Streemio, Nandimobile, Mobile Web Ghana, etc)

CWS: What do you think are the 3 key areas VAS providers need to focus on in order to succeed in the African market?
RL: a. Data services, b. Mobile Devices & Mobile Operating systems, and c. Voice VAS services.

CWS:  Which key message do you want to highlight during your participation at VAS Africa in Johannesburg later this year? 
RL: That there are increasing mobile developer communities in Africa, and that we are seeing greater investment in mobile software apps by Telecoms companies. It's good news all round.

Robert is a Co-Founder and CEO of Saya Mobile, a mobile software development company in Ghana, and responsible for identifying and exploring new business opportunities & markets, coordinating sales & product development, and for negotiating & managing partnerships at Saya. He is an avid software developer with over 8 years of experience. Prior to Saya, he had been leading technical teams to develop international standard software applications for various multinationals in different industries.

VAS Africa is the continent’s most exciting value added services, content & apps event, and when it launched last year it was hailed as a massive success. Participants praised the quality of the speakers, the depth of conference content, the breadth of discussion and the targeted networking with VAS decision-makers from across Africa.  Therefore the 2nd year promises to be even bigger and better. Sign up today to be part of Africa’s only dedictaed value added services conference and exhibition.  Sign up to for the 2012 agenda and event updates,  find out more about joining in the speaker line-up and apply today to sponsor or exhibit.

#VASAfrica @allaboutcom