13 Nov 2013

A round-up of another exciting day at the 16th annual AfricaCom...

The buzz continues for a second day at Africa's largest digital event!

More exciting highlights from AfricaCom 2013. Day 2 went off with a bang... Come back tomorrow for the big finale!

Big-hitting Keynotes
An honest, plain-speaking panel discussion was the perfect opening to the second day of AfricaCom. Panellists from MTN, Orange, Intel, Google, Facebook and Mozilla discussed the increasing opportunities for digital services in Africa. Operator billing was a key focus. Surely win-win - but what is holding it up? Putting the customer at the heart of the strategy - if there is not an easy way to pay, the digital ecosystem will fail. The panel agreed on the need to pull together to encourage the development and distribution of content and services with a local flavour,

Who better to open the LTE stream than Irene Charnley, Group CEO of Smile. Irene presented her experience as the first operator to launch 4G services in Africa.  Irene emphasised Smile's strategy of highlighting the customer experience and making it the main focus of all aspects of the business. Smile's subscribers benefit from the high speed delivery of innovative content over LTE networks, and a transparent system to prevent bill shock following data usage.
Panel speakers identified key challenges preventing the mass take-up of LTE in Africa - device availability, spectrum allocation, Volte not yet available. But Smile remain positive and aim to be delivering LTE to the mass market by this time next year. We look forward to an update at AfricaCom 2014!

The Open Data Centre Alliance evening reception kick-started two days of content on Cloud & Big Data, in a musical evening with great networking. The jam-packed morning sessions of Cloud @ AfricaCom featured some of Africa’s leading telcos including Telkom, Vodacom, and Safaricom together with Amazon Web Services discussing the future of telco Cloud in the region.

Customer Experience Management stream today focused on interaction, new means of creating proximity and communicating with the customer through e-mail, chat, voice, video calls, social media etc. Ways of converting issues into opportunities to provide excellent services were discussed also with intelligence provided on what can be done in CEM to turn it into a distinguishing quality and value adding characteristic for the telco.

Mobile Money
Mobile Money at AfricaCom got off to a philisophical start focusing on what exactly mobile money is and should be, offering a tentative conclusion that “Mobile money is emotional – it should be quick and easy, turning each individual into an agent, into an ATM”. The debate also covered interoperability and customer service, as well as regulation and cross-border transactions.

AfricApps delivered a major developer workshop looking at the future of the Cloud and Google’s role in this. Led by Daniel Acton Technical Account Manager at Google, this looked in detail at the potential opportunities presented by the Android Platform for Sub-Saharan mobile app developers

Africa’s major broadcast conference reached its peak today with major highlights including a presentation from the CEO of the SABC, Lulama Mokhobo. Contributing presentations included two major presentations from Google; firstly from Brett StClair, discussing the role of YouTube in Africa, secondly from Arno Hart Project Manager at TENET discussing the future of the Google white spaces trial in Africa.

More Twittermonials from day 2...

"Interesting day 2 at the #AfricaCom  #MobileMoneyAfrica conference" -@‏LaylaLaurenLeo

"Buzzing at the #AfricaCom. Some much to see..."

"Day two at #AfricaCom in full swing"

"An Amazing line up of speakers today at #AfricaCom" -@Alcatel1TouchSA

Follow the events as they unfold on our Storify page!

AfricaCom Awards Show
The most eagerly awaited, respected and renowned awards ceremony within the African Telecoms, Media & ICT industries begins tonight at The Waterfront Lookout, Granger Bay in Cape Town, South Africa from 7pm. 

View the full line-up of all the Awards contenders here

With live entertainment and MC Nik Rabinowitz; this will be a night of entertainment, celebration and great networking.

The Awards Ceremony has sold out – so if you failed to secure a seat or table, then make sure you join us at the After Party, which is free and there is an open invitation for all.  It starts at 10.30pm tonight.

We hope to see you there!

  • 19:00 AfricaCom Awards drinks reception
  • 19:30 AfricaCom Awards Show begins
  • 22:30 PCCW Global AfricaCom Awards Free After party – FREE FOR ALL - (The Waterfront Lookout, Granger Bay)

Coming up tomorrow...
Thursday 14th November

AfricaCom Conference Sessions 

  •  07:30 AfricaCom Registration opens
  •  09:00 AfricaCom Conference Begins – Day 3 Keynote session (Auditorium 2)
  • 14:00  Regulatory Evolution (Roof Terrace)
  • 12:00  Infrastructure Sharing (Roof Terrace)
  • 12:00 Wireless Broadband (Room 1:6)
  • 12:15  Monetising Content & Data (Auditorium 2)
  • 12:00  Big Data (Room 1:4)
  • 12:00  AfricApps (Jasminium Restaurant)
  • 14:00  Regulatory Evolution (Roof Terrace)
  • 17:15 End of Conference sessions 
 AfricaCom Exhibition
  • 10:00 Exhibition opens
  • 11:00 MasterClass Theatre – LTE session (Exhibition Hall)
  • 17:00 Exhibition Closing Time

For more information, check out the finalised programme here