19 Sep 2013

Location Based Services in the New World

Written by Telecommunication Systems

 In this new mobile world, it is all about location, location, location.  Customers want mobile operators to support the complete range of available location-based services (LBS) applications including; personal navigation, fleet tracking, friend finder, social networking, weather feeds, news updates and more.  Until now, supporting the various applications across the network was an expensive proposition available only to the largest operators.  It involved multiple location node types scattered across the network — purchased, managed and maintained independently.  But the challenges of location awareness — whether market- driven or mandated — are not limited to the largest networks.  The solutions shouldn't be, either.
Global Trends
It is important to note that the market for LBS is forecasted to grow rapidly over the next four years. Driven by an increasing number of location-enabled applications and devices, the number of location-enabled subscribers will expand through 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of 10 percent (ABI Research).  ABI Research analysts expect worldwide LBS revenue to increase 92 percent by 2017 (Figure 1) 
Financial Trends
It is also important to understand the financial trends.  Among wireless subscribers, 332 million used LBS solutions in 2011 and ABI Research experts expect that number to increase to nearly 2.2 billion by 2017.  ABI Research thinks most of the international growth will come from countries in the Asia- Pacific region, notably India and China.  It appears that the region’s subscriber numbers will grow from 1 billion in 2011 to over 2 billion in 2017, meaning that the Asia-Pacific region will contribute half of the world’s wireless subscribers. LBS revenues for this region, which were in third place behind North America and Western Europe in 2009, have now surpassed Western Europe and will nearly equal North America by 2017 (Figure 2).

Business Benefits to Mobile Operators with LBS and Applications
LBS applications draw in consumers, drive revenue, increase customer loyalty, and decrease churn.  LBS applications range from simple (passive) push services, such as weather and traffic alerts, to more complex and interactive services, such as personal safety/emergency services, family locator, and workforce/asset locator applications.  These advanced applications, which generally require network-based location determination provided by the mobile operator, also tend to be the applications that drive the highest value-added service revenue and data-centric revenue. Trends indicate that many consumers who use LBS sign up for more than one location application. Offering real-time LBS content improves customer satisfaction which in turn increases customer retention and average revenue per user (ARPU).
 In order to support the expanding location requirements, operators need to enable their networks to deliver user-specific services to maximize their market participation and at the heart of any location-enabled network is the ability to seamlessly coordinate all location requests across the network.  With the right LBS solution, operators can easily location-enable their networks, location-enable their users, and ensure nobody gets lost along the way. 
LBS Today and Tomorrow
The convergence of LBS-enabled search and messaging, mobile advertising and social networking, and powerful new smartphones is changing the way people use their mobile devices and interact with others. These changes will enable unique and differentiated services that will drive mobile operators’ growth and value in the years ahead.
 Mobile operators will need flexible, scalable, and secure solutions that allow them to rapidly deliver products to market, creating a distinct competitive advantage while achieving greater revenue.

 About Cellfind  
Cellfind (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of the JSE listed group, Blue Label Telecom, is a leading mobile technology solutions company that provides tailored Location-based services, Aggregation solutions, Mobile Applications and Value Added Services to a wide range of clients in Southern Africa.

Cellfind draws on a strong base of technical skills and locally-owned intellectual property to create innovative mobile solutions to a wide range of industries including the Financial services, Medical, Media, and Telecommunications industries.

The company’s solutions include amongst others SMS and MMS based solutions, USSD application solutions, WAP and Mobile Applications, Location-based solutions (Information, Traffic and Routing, Emergency response, Tracking) and Mobile payment solutions. These solutions assist organisations in communicating cost-effectively and efficiently with their employees, customers and other stakeholders, while creating either direct cost savings and/or revenue generative opportunities for our customers.

Cellfind, a founding member of the Wireless Application Service Provider Association and Accredited Service Provider for Vodacom, MTN and Cell C, continues to invest in world-class technology that enables easy and cost effective access to our partners, allowing us to continuously shape the landscape in the Southern African market.

For more info visit www.cellfind.co.za

About TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.

Ranked No. 1 in the world for precise location, our comprehensive LBS portfolio, TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. provides one solution with all the power and versatility needed to location-enable any network and make location a key part of any network’s value proposition. We bring together all of the components needed to locate any user across any type of network and deliver that location to user devices, location-based applications, emergency responders, and public safety services and agencies.  Our complete end-to-end LBS solution includes hardware and software to support 2G, 3G and LTE networks.  TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. has 12 years of LBS experience to help mobile operators reduce time to market and implementation costs.

For more info visit www.telecomsys.com

Meet Cellfind and TeleCommunication Systems at AfricaCom, 12-14 November at Cape Town, Booth B10C.

NigeriaCom: See you next year | 16-17 September 2014


See you next year... Share your thoughts on #NigeriaCom @allaboutcom       


Steve Martin, business development manager, BBC: “It’s obvious that the internet in Nigeria is mobile” – NigeriaCom continues with day two. 
COnference room 3
After yesterday’s great launch to NigeriaCom 2013, day 2 got off to a great start with an extremely dynamic panel discussion on the change in how content is consumed thanks to the advent of mobile devices. The audience heard from the most spearheading players in the field including Spinlet, iRoking and the BBC. This was followed by a vibrant presentation on the future of the traditional TV and radio format courtesy of Google Nigeria. 

Informa Telecoms & Media’s expert team ran the highly popular and productive Speed Networking session providing a unique opportunity for event supporters to get one-to-one time with potential business partners. Etisalat, host sponsor of NigeriaCom 2013, have enjoyed a very busy space with much interest and enthusiasm surrounding their second-to-none offerings.  

Whereas day one of NigeriaCom focused on the foundations of telecommunications, networks, connectivity and quality of service, day two took a close look at added services which operators need to capitalise on by working closely with content providers. As well as entertainment, our expert speakers also addressed the boom in mobile financial services and the use of social media, with representatives from Ibaka TV, Eskimi, 2go, Clickatell, Airtel and the Ekiti State Government, among others.   
BBC World chose NigeriaCom to announce the launch of their new targeted mobile service for local audiences. This special co-located event was followed by the second annual AppGig. Following on last year’s huge success, the AppGig was made up of a series of informal chats and workshops focusing on creating and monetising quality local apps. Enhancing local app talent were leaders from Google, Yookos, Globacom and Mobile Monday, to name but a few. This fun, hands-on gig was a great way to round off what has been an extremely successful event here in Lagos. 
As one speaker, Olatunde Farinade, CEO of BrowseDotCom, put it, NigeriaCom gets better each year - We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Make sure you don’t miss out on NigeriaCom Version 5.0 in 2014! 

conference room 6--------------------------------------------------
What our attendees said about this year's show:    
“Nigeria Com is unique because it is targeted for a specific industry. This segmentation helped us in packaging specific products for the industry. We also have leads that were converted to pipelines.” 
Tolulope Popoola, Brand Marketing Manager, ATB Techsoft Solutions Nigeria 
“I believe the speed networking sessions were key and stands out for me as a unique advantage.” 
Chuks Uketu, Account Manager, Rancard Nigeria 
“This show illustrates market potential for the growth of the telecom industry.” 
Jacob Petersen, Business Development Director, OFS Global 
Speed networking“This is Rancard’s second visit to Nigeria Com – my first! Nigeria Com 2013 was very well organized." 
Jocelyn Onyeka, Country Manager, Rancard Nigeria 
“Every year, NigeriaCom presents something fresh and engaging for Industry players. This year, I am impressed with the organization as well as with the depth of the presentations and panel discussions” 
Dr. Sylva Ifedigbo, Corporate Communications Director, Mobitel 
“Very informative sessions. Fantastic and impressive speaker line-up, will definitely be attending next year!” 
Nnamdi Oranye, Business Development Manager, Indian Atlantic Telecoms South Africa 
“The Nigeria Com 2013 conference was very good, useful and fruitful. The location and hotel were great. Nigeria Com 2013 allows lots of companies to come together to find new business and also to share new thoughts and ideas” 
Johnson Ayoola, Trade Agent, Etisalat Nigeria 
“Sincerely, I must comment on the organization and coordination of the event. The speakers and presenters did a great job. Quite fascinating interesting experience, looking forward to next years’ experience.” 
Olujede Oluwafemi, L&D Specialist, Etisalat Nigeria 
“Speed Networking is a good concept which allows one to move through many discussions quickly, meaning it’s easier to focus your time later on more important or detailed follow ups.” 
Guy Clark, MD, Vodacom Nigeria 
"Nigeria Com is a wonderful idea and platform, bringing together the stakeholders in the countries Telco Industry, while highlighting major issues such as Qos. Also the Speed Networking is a lovely and productive idea-matching vendors with clients on one on one basis." 
Korede Solagbade, Business Executive, Gicell Wireless Nigeria 
Sponsors of NigeriaCom 
Headline Sponsor & Host Operator Partner:
SMS Sponsor:
VIP Bag Sponsor:
Associate Sponsor:
Badges & Lanyards Sponsor:
TE Connectivity
See You Next Year!       
To get involved early for the 2014 show,         
please visit our website: http://nigeria.comworldseries.com/
16-17 September 2014
Lagos Oriental Hotel,
3, Lekki Road,
Victoria Island,
Lagos, Nigeria

18 Sep 2013

Affordable high-performance wireless backhaul for bridging the Digital Divide

By Bernard Prkić, DragonWave Inc.

Bernard Prkić
In developed countries and markets, affordable 24/7 broadband access to the Internet has become the ubiquitous lifeblood of society over the past decade. It has profoundly changed peoples’ lives and has even re-shaped society as a whole. Its importance is underlined by the fact that losing this connection to the world has the same impact on households as a power outage.

The Digital Divide

Unfortunately, there are still millions if not billions of people, inhabiting less affluent or more remote parts of our planet that are not benefiting from the “ubiquitous” Internet revolution. A revolution that has transformed most of the rest of our world, and is holding the promise of improving their quality of living too.

This undesirable situation is in part caused by the prohibitive cost of building fixed or mobile access networks in markets with low population densities or low per-capita incomes. Other common challenges, beyond equipment cost, that frequently pop up in developing countries are:

1.     No (reliable) power supply for powering the infrastructure and end-user devices,
2.     High recurring cost for obtaining licensed spectrum and/or difficulty in obtaining a suitable spectrum license,
3.     Limited reach of microwave links in mainstream licensed frequency bands (6 GHz upwards, but typically 10 GHz and up) & high cost of long-haul trunk radio solutions,
4.     Path obstructions necessitating the erection of costly high-rise towers.

We at DragonWave are keen on contributing towards addressing those challenges, narrowing the Digital Divide and thereby serving as a catalyst for improving the lives of the less privileged by bringing broadband Internet access to their doorstep.
DragonWave’s role in Bridging the Digital Divide

DragonWave is a leading vendor of packet microwave equipment, including carrier Ethernet switches and synchronisation solutions for radio access networks. During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March 2013, we have launched our latest product, the Harmony Lite – please refer to Figure 1.
Figure 1: Harmony Lite with integrated 20 cm antenna, front & side view.
Harmony Lite is optimised for the following three use cases:

1.       Low-cost mid-range wireless rural access,
2.       Microcellular wireless mobile backhaul for dense urban areas, both Line of Sight and near/Non-line of Sight.
3.       Low-cost access for Enterprise and SoHo[i] customers.

So what makes Harmony Lite stand out from other (low-cost) point-to-point packet microwave radio’s on the market and in our own portfolio? In fact, it is many things, or rather a unique feature mix that make this product outstanding and the best tool for the applications listed above:

1.      Low CAPEX: a Harmony Lite link is extremely affordable, costing just about 50% of a regular packet microwave link with a same-size antenna. This opens up new, price-sensitive applications and markets, like for example wireless rural access in the African countryside.

2.      Low power consumption (OPEX): a Harmony Lite unit consumes about 15 W of power, which amounts to just 30% of the power consumption of a typical packet microwave unit. The low power consumption has a positive knock-on effect on other, very significant cost factors:
a.      The power supply and battery backup system in remote areas. Mains power is simply not available or unreliable at best at remote communities. Therefore, a transport solution at remote sites will have to be solar and/or wind energy powered, backed up by a battery system. The cost of such secondary systems can easily multiply the cost of the primary system; hence scaling back on power greatly reduces the Total Cost of Ownership.
b.      The power injectors: due to its low power consumption, Avenue Link Light can be powered using inexpensive off-the-shelf PoE+ power injectors or readily available PoE+-capable 3rd party switches.
3.      Extended range: despite its modest power uptake, The Lite can link points that are as far as 38 km apart with 99,995% link availability – please refer to Figure 2 for details. This is thanks to the fact that it operates in the sub-6 GHz bands, including the unlicensed 5 GHz band and the licensed 2 and 3 GHz bands.
4.      Site synchronization: this unique feature enables perfect synchronisation of the Tx and Rx bursts of 2 co-located Harmony Lite units, enabling 1:1 frequency (channel) re-use (efficient use of scarce resource) without link degradation as long as the main beam angular separation ≥90˚. This feature is ideally suited for e.g. east-west (=chain) sites that are necessary if points A and B cannot be connected using a single hop because of terrain obstructions or distance.
5.      Support of 5 GHz unlicensed band: this allows the user to deploy the Lite without incurring any license cost, lowering the Total Cost of Ownership to the absolute minimum.

Figure 2: aggregate link capacity (Tx+Rx) versus distance and antenna size for the 5 GHz (unlicensed) Harmony Lite variant (99,995% availability in Burkina Faso). Range in lower 2.x and 3.x GHz licensed bands will be higher.

 Harmony Lite boasts other merits too, although those are more relevant for microcellular backhaul and enterprise connectivity applications: integrated 20 and 30 cm antennas, lowering installation effort and cost, the near- and Non-Line-of-Sight capabilities dealing with obstructions like poles trees and even corners, the support of synchronous Ethernet and IEEE1588v2 Boundary Clock for LTE-A, the 2 ms latency (versus 6-8 ms for competition) boosting customer effective throughput and more.

So how can Harmony Lite benefit people on the wrong side of the Digital Divide? Well, simply by making Internet access to remote or less well-off spots on this Earth much more affordable and therefore feasible for the first time in history. We can knock off 50% of the primary link CAPEX, 70% of secondary CAPEX (power and Battery Back Up systems) and 100% of licensing OPEX, and still provide communities a world-class, dependable lifeline to the outside world. This is exactly our mission: Building Better Backhaul Everywhere!

DragonWave will be exhibiting at this year's AfricaCom, 12-14 November, in Cape Town. Come and meet them at stand F04; Register for a free pass to the exhibition, here. 

[i] Small Office Home Office.

East Africa opens monster datacentre

The datacentre currently occupies four floors with 500 square metres of useable whitespace and 160 racks per floor making it the largest data centre in East Africa, the company said.
The datacentre currently occupies four floors with 500 square metres of useable whitespace and 160 racks per floor making it the largest data centre in East Africa, the company said.
African fibre network operator and subsidiary of Econet Wireless, Liquid Telecom, this week opened a carrier neutral datacentre in Nairobi.
The East Africa Data Centre offers secure and reliable space for dedicated hosting, interconnect services, colocation, disaster recovery, network-based services, applications and cloud services to carriers, network providers and enterprises from across the continent. Existing customers include banks, mobile network operators, ISPs and cloud solutions providers.
Liquid said that the challenges facing new data centre builds in Africa are the same as those for any kind of telco activity: connectivity, security and power supply. As a result, the data centre is carrier-neutral with connectivity to the backbone and metro fibre is offered by a number of carriers including nearly all local Kenyan carriers and international carriers such as Tata, Level3 and Seacom.
The centre promises 99.982 per cent guaranteed availability and boasts a security and access control system including full-time CCTV surveillance, biometrics, metal detectors, card readers, turnstiles at various access points and staff onsite 365 days. The centre is connected to the grid 99.982 per cent of each calendar month and is backed up by two diesel generators.
East Africa Data Centre is an independent company within the Liquid Telecom Group with a separate management team from its sister companies which include Liquid Telecom Kenya. The datacentre currently occupies four floors with 500 square metres of useable whitespace and 160 racks per floor making it the largest data centre in East Africa, the company said.
Dan Kwach, General Manager at East Africa Data Centre, said “Quality data centres are an important element in the creation of an independent African telecoms infrastructure. Our significant investment in this data centre has been driven by demand from across Africa. By keeping African data in Africa we continue to help build Africa’s digital future”.

Content re-produced from telcoms.com 

written by
James MiddletonJames Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

Toni Eid, CEO of Telecom Review on "issues affecting the revenue sources of operators"

Toni Eid
Meet Toni Eid, CEO of Telecom Review (Trace Media) a proud  partner of Middle East Com.
The Middle East Com team caught up with Toni Eid ahead of the Middle East Com Conference and Exhibition, taking place at the Sofitel Dubai in UAE – 23-24 September to find out a bit more his focus at the event.

Com World Series: At Telecom Review you are at the heart of the telecoms industry in the Middle East and we are delighted to be partnering with you for Middle East Com.  What have you seen to be the key developments in the region in the past year?

Toni Eid – Telecom Review: "The Middle East telecommunications sector is experiencing phenomenal growth. The region is at the heart of new technology deployments. It is one of the fastest regions in adopting new technologies."

Read the full interview here: http://me.comworldseries.com/speaker-interview-with-toni-eid/

Com World Series: You interview many CEOs and C-level executives from the operator community – what have you found to be the key challenges facing board level operators currently?
Toni Eid – Telecom Review: The use of mobile broadband continues to skyrocket. The tremendous growth of mobile is continuing and is gaining momentum as more and more services, as well as things, get connected. Driven by the demand for connected devices and new applications the volume and types of data moving across networks are growing exponentially presenting big challenges for operators.
The operator landscape is changing which is posing a new pressure on the operator to adapt to the new value chains that are being created due to the digitalization of various industries.

In addition, the advent of over-the-top (OTT) players also presents big challenges for operators. OTT applications are growing and are more and more taking shares from operators’ revenues.
With this the huge surge in data traffic and OTT applications, operators face the challenge of monetizing this traffic and find new sources of revenues while keeping the customer happy. The competition is getting tougher.

Com World Series: We are looking forward to the panel discussion that you will chair on 23rd September at Middle East Com. Please can you give us a preview of the some of the questions you will be asking the representatives from Nawras, Batelco and Alfa?

Toni Eid – Telecom Review: I will be discussing with the valued panellists all the above mentioned issues that are affecting the revenue sources of operators. And we will try to identify the best strategies and business models to overcome these challenges.


Find out more at Middle East Com. Toni Eid will be moderating the Operator panel session on Day 1 at 09:45 on “How are Operators Redefining Offerings to Take the Consumer Experience to the next Level?”. MeetToni Eid by registering here

17 Sep 2013

NigeriaCom: Day 1 Press Release

Inatimi Spiff, NCC: “We are working hard [on quality of service] in collaboration with the operators, most of who are here” –Day one of NigeriaCom opens in Lagos.
NigeriaCom panel
NigeriaCom Day 1 panel
The 4th annual NigeriaCom opened in Lagos today with insightful analysis form the organisers, Informa Telecoms & Media, followed by the eagerly awaited keynote panel hosted by Etisalat. This brought together an impressive group of panellist including Temi Ogunbambi, Director of Network Engineering at Etisalat Nigeria, Inatimi Spiff of the Nigerian Communications Commission, and Awadhesh Kalia, CTO of Airtel. The rich and dynamic discussion set the tone for the rest of the day’s sharing of views, issues and solutions.

Day one of NigeriaCom focused on the challenges in infrastructure and remaining issues in network and connectivity across the country. The audience was treated to the wisdom and expertise of our VIP operator speakers (Airtel, MTN, Starcomms, Gicell, Vodacom...) and solutions providers (Telecom Italia Sparkle, Rancard...). The sessions on profitability in the data era and the status of LTE and Wi-Fi were particularly popular with the attendees.

The other main subject of the day was customer experience management which focused on the recently introduced mobile number portability with speakers from the CEON, NATCOMS and the NCC.
The NigeriaCom exhibition space was buzzing throughout the day with networking and business meetings. 20 exhibitors are participating in NigeriaCom showcasing their products and solutions to the market stakeholders.   Speed Networking brought together 20+ VIP guests from the region’s operators and the exhibitors. It was a great success and a unique opportunity provided by the Com World Series events. 

NigeriaCom continues tomorrow, registration opens at 8:00am at the Lagos Oriental Hotel.

Press Release: BBC Hausa to present its mobile website in Responsive Design at NigeriaCom

BBC Hausa Editor, Mansur Liman is participating in the NigeriaCom conference in Lagos where he will present the bbchausa.com website now available in Responsive Design. The presentation will take place at Function Room 1, The Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, at 12.30 on Wednesday 18 September.

 Mansur Liman will talk about the way the Responsive Design technology changes the user experience of those who access bbchausa.com via mobile phones.  
  • The BBC Hausa mobile site was re-launched in Responsive Design in January 2013 when it was among the very first non-English-language African sites in Responsive Design.  
  • With the launch of a “responsive” BBC Hausa mobile website all users coming to the site are automatically routed to the mobile optimised version, thus getting the best possible user experience their device can deliver. 
  • Over 95% of bbchausa.com users come to the site via mobile phones – hundreds of different models in any given week. While previously they would all have had the same experience which did not reflect the advantages of their particular type of mobile phone, now, with the introduction of the Responsive Design technology, they get the best possible experience that their phone can manage. 
 Mansur Liman will also talk about the expansion of the bbchausa.com content – including video products – and about the availability of this enriched content to the regional media via syndication to various aggregators who see value of BBC content.    

 BBC Hausa (bbchausa.com; facebook.com/bbchausa; @bbchausa) is part of BBC World Service, an international multimedia broadcaster which delivers a wide range of language and regional services on radio, TV, online and via wireless handheld devices. 

 BBC World Service uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 192 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. BBC World Service offers its multilingual radio content to partner FM stations around the world and has numerous partnerships supplying content to news websites, mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices as well as TV channels. 
 The BBC attracts a weekly global audience of 256 million people to its international news services including BBC World ServiceBBC World News television channel and bbc.com/news.

 For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:
BBC Global News Communications – Lala Najafova lala.najafova@bbc.co.uk

Global Mobile African digest...

MTN unveils new Africa international call rates
MTN has introduced new African international call rates, allowing for subscribers to make calls to Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Swaziland and Zimbabwe for ZAR0.75 (US$0.07) per minute. The new tariff is available to personal and business users following research that highlighted a growing need to make international calls to other African countries.

Lebanon's telecoms industry suffers from VoIP shift
The slowing economy and customers shifting away from text and calls to free messaging and VoIP applications, has resulted in financial transfers from the telecoms ministry to the Treasury to drop by 14.35% in the first five months of 2013. At end May, the Treasury received US$510 million, nearly US$85 million lower than what was reported in same period last year.

Increased tax has negative effect on Orange Jordan’s profits
Orange Jordan has reported revenue and profit drops of 7% to 8% following the Jordanian government’s decision to increase taxes on cell phones and subscriptions in early July 2013. According to Jean-Francois Thomas, the group's CEO, most mobile users are continuing to spend the same amount on telecoms services despite increased prices, resulting in declined profits and revenues for the operator. In July, the government increased the special tax on mobile phones from 8% to 16%, and the tax on mobile subscriptions from 12% to 24%.

Algeria to announce 3G license winners in October
Algeria's three telecom operators, Djezzy, Mobilis and Nedjma have submitted their technical and financial bids for 3G licenses. After being examined in public session by the regulator-designated committee, all three offers were accepted and the regulator now has a month to evaluate the bids before it publishes the outcome 15th October.

Tunisiana to receive US$133 mil. loan
The Arab Banking Corporation, through its subsidiary ABC Tunisie, has been selected as the lead arranger and facility agent for a US$133 million five-year term loan for Tunisiana. Four other banks have taken also part in the loan, which is to be used to finance the development of Tunisiana's 3G network and the launch of a landline business. 


Taken from Global Mobile Daily:  

Global Mobile Daily
Global news from the mobile telecoms industry
Headlines for September 17, 2013

Global Mobile Daily: ISSN 1099-730X
Copyright 2012 Informa UK Ltd.

Results from our South African mHealth Landscape

by Mojca Cargo
Mobile for Developments’ mHealth initiative recently conducted a Landscaping of mHealth services in South Africa with the support of the UK Government. Findings from the research can be seen here.

The mobile phone holds the power of ubiquity. Across the developing world, around 40% of people now actively  ubscribe to mobile services. If we include people who do not own a handset but have access to one, the connected population is pushed to over 50%. Contrast this to traditional core services such as banking, electricity and sanitation which are near universal in developed regions such as Europe and North America, but well below 50% in several developing regions.[1]

Results from our South African mHealth Landscape
Indeed, Mobile for development is a growing sector, with well over 1,000 live services now being tracked by the GSMA across the developing world in verticals such as money, health, education and entrepreneurship. The problem is that while the sector has enjoyed continued growth in the number of services over the last 5-7 years, scale and sustainability have generally not been achieved.
mHealth in emerging markets, including South Africa, is one of the most active mobile verticals. Unfortunately it also lacks the sustainable impact data that drives strategic integration into health systems. Fragmentation and an inability to monetize and/or create sustainable financing structures through robust public private partnerships are just two of the hurdles faced by industry stakeholders.
Some of the Key Findings about mHealth in South Africa are:
  • Fragmented, nascent industry: 101 services identified in South Africa, many of which are ‘small’ services addressing the same health concerns (e.g. 42 services addressing HIV/AIDS, 50 services claiming to support health systems in various ways)
  • Unsustainable business models: 75% of all services have received catalytic donor investment. There are few examples of revenue generation beyond catalytic donor investment.
  • Disproportional distribution throughout the country: Gauteng and Western Cape are 2 provinces with the greatest number of mHealth services, the opposite for Free State, Limpopo and Eastern Cape.
We would like to invite you to have a look at the report in its entirety here.
As well as mHealth in South Africa, you will be also able to read about:
  1. Mobile market landscape
  2. Mobile for Development market landscape
  3. mHealth Emerging markets overview
  4. South Africa mHealth market landscape
  5. MNCH mHealth services in South Africa
As part of the Pan-African mHealth Initiative, we will soon publish a Country Feasibility Report with various highlights about the South African market.
GSMA Association will be exhibiting at AfricaCom. Come and meet them for free, at the AfricaCom exhibition, stand E03b. 

[1] Source: Mobile for Development Intelligence. Report in its entirety can be found here.