28 Jun 2013

Data, content & apps set to flourish in Africa

Digital Services Africa 
25-26 June 2013
Hilton Sandton, Johannesburg

Data, content & apps set to flourish in Africa - Digital Services Africa

Digital Services Africa event has now shut its doors after two days of intense debates on the opportunities offered by digital services on the continent. Digital services (including mobile data, content, apps, mobile money, mobile marketing) are creating new business models and partnerships in an ecosystem that is no longer dominated solely by mobile operators. The relations between OTT players and telcos have evolved greatly in the last few years but there is still work to do to ensure partnerships are working and that revenues are shared equitably. Representatives of all parts of the digital ecosystem shared their views in lively debates during the event: OTT/content players (Google, Iroking, Spinlet, Bozza), social media (Mxit, 2Go), operators (Orange), devices specialists (Nokia, Anabel Mobile), solutions providers (Spice Africa, Jinny Software, Intersec), app developers and more.

"From the debates we heard at Digital Services Africa this year, it is clear that what we're seeing now is only the beginning of what will be a great market. There is still a lot of work to ensure the digital market grows for the benefit of all - including customers. We are proud to be able to provide a forum where market stakeholders can get together, exchange ideas and build partnerships" says Julie Rey from organisers Informa Telecoms & Media.

The event will return to Johannesburg in 2014, co-located with MVNOs Africa. This will provide more opportunities to discuss new partnerships and models to deliver attractive services to African users.

See You Next Year @ The Maslow Sandton!

Digital Services Africa 2014
24-25 June 2014
The Maslow Sandton

Thank you to our Sponsors of 2013!

25 Jun 2013

Digital Services Africa opened today at the Hilton Sandton Hotel in Johannesburg...

***Join us for day 2 *** Share your thoughts on #DigitalServicesAfrica @allaboutcom

The digital ecosystem is going through great changes in Africa: new players, new services, and new customer demand.

Digital Services Africa opened in Johannesburg today at the Hilton Sandton, providing a forum for players in the ecosystem to discuss how to make the most of it: what services will drive the market, how to monetise them, what partnerships will work best? 

The conference opened with a session on innovation and entrepreneurship, followed by a panel on partnerships between operators and new players. The afternoon sessions looked at mobile money services and digital music. The variety of companies represented among the speakers and in the audience provided great debates and networking opportunities: operators (Orange, MTN, and Vodacom), OTT players (Google, Iroking, Spinlet, and Mxit), financial services companies (Standard Bank, Pbell, Wizzit, and Zunguz), app companies (People Input, Rlabs), and solutions providers (Spice and Jinny Software). 

The debates today not only showed the great amount of innovation taking place in Africa’s digital market: they also gave an opportunity to discuss how the market is shaping up and how the different players are gearing up for the many opportunities it offers.

The second day will look more closely at content and apps, with a panel on social media (including speakers from Mxit, 2go and Google), one on content (with representatives of Bozza, DSTV, BBC and Umuntu), a session mobile marketing and the AppGig led by event partners Mobile Monday.

View Day 2 of the latest agenda  


Tweet about your presence #DigitalServicesAfrica  

Make sure to let everyone know your thoughts about the show on twitter using #DigitalServicesAfrica

Hear from Day 1 Attendees... 

“This was a very informative conference and it has given me the necessary exposure. Thanks for the opportunity.”
Abiodun Akandi, Broadband System Planning, MTN Nigeria

“Not even a million can buy this valuable information gathered at the event”
Ian Jindela, Senior reporter, Africa Business Media South Africa

“The event was well prepared and the presentations were relevant”
Amine Haddad, CEO, Actel Lebanon

Thank you to our Sponsors of 2013!  
Comza Africa
Jinny Software

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Join us for Day 2 @ The Hilton Sandton 

Hilton Sandton
138 Rivonia Road
South Africa 2196
Tel: +27-11-322-1888
Fax: +27-11-322-1818

Directions: http://bit.ly/12E193V  

24 Jun 2013

Steven Evans, CEO of Etisalat Nigeria reveals the cornerstone of their success in Nigeria ...

Steven Evans is the CEO of Etisalat Nigeria.

The Com World Series team caught up with Steven ahead of the NigeriaCom conference and exhibition, taking place at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria, 17-18 September to find out a bit more about his experiences and focus at the event.

Com World Series: How is your company positioned in Nigeria and what are its future objectives?

Steven Evans: When we launched commercial operations in 2008, we had one goal in mind – to turn around the telecoms industry, exceeding every Nigerian’s expectation of what a telecom organization should be. We went ahead to develop Etisalat’ s business strategy based on four strategic elements – Innovation, Quality of Service, Customer Focus and Efficiency/Value for Money.

With these core pillars The Etisalat team operate on a daily basis with an outstanding sense of Customer Centricity – this along with Innovation (in products & services) has become the major positioning of the brand.

The Etisalat brand has also enjoyed an amazing affinity with the youth market to date and has a phenomenal percentage of its base between the ages of 18 – 24. Moving forward, we intend to continue to push this affinity with innovative products and services that speak directly to our customers.

Com World Series: What do you think are the top 3 major trends that are affecting your business in the region in 2013?

Steven Evans: The top 3 trends here can only be summarised with the phrase “Data, Data and more Data”!

As voice revenues level out, data, over well designed, well deployed, well managed 3G networks, is the next frontier for telecoms in Nigeria. Market growth in this 3G era is a major focus with over 55% (nearly 8 Million) of our subscriber base being data users.

This evolving behavior means the market, our customers need data-driven propositions, tariffs, content and Apps that provide a new and exciting communications experience. Recent launches like our very popular EasyFlex tariff, an exclusive partnership with award winning music App Spinlet and collaborations with major device manufacturers for low cost smartphones all tick our brand values of Innovation & Customer Focus ensuring improved data usage on the network.

The quality of our network, and therefore our service, is the key to unlocking the potential of our base and so we have a very aggressive focus on utilising the best possible network solutions to lead in this market.

Com World Series: How are Smartphones/tablets and cloud services impacting mobile/internet service providers in Nigeria?

Steven Evans: In comparison to markets in the West, Smartphone penetration in Nigeria is relatively low at around 15%.
Key to driving the goals mentioned above will be the right device choices for our customers. We recently launched a new, low-cost Android Smartphone with Chinese device manufacturer, Techno. This move puts more and more data-enabled devices in the hands of the Nigerian Subscriber, driving our market forward.

Com World Series: What are the remaining challenges in terms of connectivity and quality of service in the region and which technologies are most likely to resolve these issues?

Steven Evans: Power is the most disruptive issue for all mobile operators in the region. The lack of a viable, existing structure for power and fixed-line telecommunications presents a huge challenge to network expansion and improvement. Moving forward, efforts must focus on feasible solutions to extend networks and manage traffic in the absence of these basic structures. Fibre, Wi-Fi and LTE will be key to reaching the market’s full potential.

Com World Series: Who are you most looking forward to meeting/hearing from and what do you hope to achieve from taking part in NigeriaCom?

Steven Evans: The concept of the event itself, bringing together the ecosystem of the Nigerian telecommunications market is an exciting one. Well done Informa! I’d have to say I am certainly looking forward to hearing from our Minister of Communications and the Regulator on how they will continue to successfully collaborate on driving this great success story. Inevitably, contributions from my operator peers will be insightful as we increasingly team-up to face some of our shared challenges. Finally, as this ecosystem expands, I’m excited to understand how we can better serve our client base with innovative partnerships on content and mobile functionality.

Find out more at NigeriaCom

Steven Evans will be leading the session “Keynote Panel Hosted by Etisalat” on Day 1 at 10:00.

Register here