7 Nov 2013

A look at the rise of mobile broadband in Africa and the opportunities for operators

By Thomas Demolliens, Head of Telecom Sales at Lumata

Global smartphone adoption will continue to be driven by emerging economies predominantly China, India and Africa

Globally, there are now around 1 billion smartphones. Smartphone adoption had rapidly grown reaching 700 million by 2011 before hitting one billion in 2013. This growth is expected to continue driven by the emerging economies of China, India and Africa.

Thomas Demolliens,
Head of Telecom Sales, Lumata
Current estimates put smartphone penetration in Africa at 7%; however, it is expected to hit 40 per cent by 2017. This rapid growth can be attributed to an increase in mobile infrastructure coupled with the growth in Africa’s middle class who now account for 34.3 per cent of the population.

This emerging middle class has benefited from increased competition in the region from new smartphone manufacturers such as ZTE and Huawei. Both of whom have introduced smartphones for less than $100 to rival those offerings from traditional players such as Nokia and Samsung. This has lowered the barrier to entry for many Africans and heavily contributed to rates of adoption. This is particularly evident in Nigeria and Egypt where smartphone penetration stands at 25 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

This rapid adoption of smartphones has led to an explosion in mobile internet access and data use

Due to the lack of fixed broadband services, mobile is the primary channel most Africans access the internet with, the continent now possessing 84 million internet enabled devices.

Broadband access is fundamental to economic growth with current figures estimating that a 10 per cent increase in broadband access can lead to 1.3 per cent growth in terms of GDP. This is through its role in the enablement of key areas such as education, healthcare, banking and commerce.

Ghana has the highest levels of mobile broadband on the continent with 33 per cent penetration, while in urban Kenya, 95 per cent of mobile subscribers own an internet enabled device. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Zimbabwe ranks second in Africa after Ghana for its mobile data usage rates. Zimbabwe’s mobile data penetration rates stand at 29.7%, according to the ITU.

While these figures are currently comparatively low to other regions, the growth in internet enabled devices will continue at a faster pace than other continents due to there being a higher number of young consumers. These consumers display similar behaviours to their Western counterparts; for example, 57 per cent visit social networks and 38 per cent listen to music or watch videos on their device. This growth in demand for services, dependent on mobile broadband, represents the single biggest revenue growth opportunity for operators on the continent.  

In the short term, the demand for increased mobile data will be met by 3G services (with which many African operators already face a significant challenge in terms of development and adoption) and Wi-Fi. While the commercial roll out of LTE is on the horizon, to date, only a few countries, including Namibia, Angola and South Africa have launched LTE commercial services. This is as a result of the prohibitive cost of LTE devices, regulatory challenges, lack of spectrum, insufficient content and slow return on investment for existing 3G roll outs.

Key to increasing ARPU and offsetting the decline in traditional revenues will be finding ways to drive competitive differentiation of data services

Although mobile subscriptions are increasing, ARPU is declining. This is due to the increase in levels of competition for traditional services such as text and voice, with the latter currently making up 70 per cent of revenues for African operators. In order to offset this decline, operators need to diversify into other high revenue services. The most obvious of which is data to cater for the growing needs of increasingly mobile savvy African consumers. However, as was the way with traditional services, competition will be fierce, leading to a depression of prices and by extension revenues.

In order to succeed, it is vital that operators find a way to drive competitive differentiation as a way of increasing uptake of these services.  Key to achieving this will be through the offering of targeted data plans to different customer segments, coupled with personalised real-time offers, and underpinned by user data such as usage behaviour, device type, location and content consumption habits.

For example, producing a targeted campaign offering free data trial valid for one week could be very appealing to a subscriber as they get to enjoy the experience of mobile internet, accessing original content, social media and apps via their new smartphone. A timely follow-up campaign can then be automatically triggered to present the subscriber with a highly personalised data offer that they can redeem on the spot or later if more convenient.  

Operators need to not only be very selective in how they use the vast amounts of consumer data they have access to, but also be very flexible and agile in their approach to best meet their customers’ needs. Undeniably, this agility requires smart, cutting-edge technology and the good news is that a number of operators are already driving innovative campaigns, reaching their goals of increasing take-up of new services and generating new revenue streams; paving the way to the adoption of mobile data usage on a massive scale in Africa.

Lumata will be exhibiting at AfricaCom 2013. Come and meet them by registering for your free ticket to AfricaCom Here 

Do you know everything?

Steve Harriman, Packet Design

Odd question, you might think. For most people, the exception being my teenage daughter, the answer is usually, “No, of course not.”

We all have a repository of knowledge about myriad things. And we all have a pretty good sense for what we don’t know. For example, while I consider myself to be reasonably competent in music theory, the workings of an internal combustion engine, and the rules of golf, I know that I don’t know much about organic chemistry (I’ve forgotten what little I learned in school), how to bake a soufflé, and brain surgery.  

But there’s an infinite amount of knowledge that’s not even in my realm of consciousness—stuff that I’m just not aware of. In this case, I don’t know what I don’t know.  

But network engineers often claim to know everything about their networks. After all, many have gone through rigorous technology certifications and have years of experience under their belts. They have designed and built networks, implemented sophisticated management processes and purchased numerous tools to help them configure, monitor and troubleshoot their networks. So they probably feel justified in making that claim.

Interesting. When it comes to IP and their own networks, they know what they know. And they likely know what they don’t know, even if they might not admit it. But is it possible that there are facets of their network’s operations that they are unaware of because they have never been exposed to them? I.e. Areas where they have no context on which to build knowledge.

Most network managers have an array of tools for device monitoring, flow recording, deep packet inspection, point-to-point latency measurement, etc., etc. Many of these tools feed manager of manager (MoM) consoles like HP OpenView and service management systems like Remedy and ServiceNow. In spite of this wealth of management data, managers rarely have visibility into the layer 3 routing topology and how it changes second by second. In other words, they have no way of capturing and visualizing how traffic traverses the network, and how routing configurations impact service delivery. They cannot know, for example:
  • The exact layer 3 routing topology at any point in time. 
  • The paths that different classes of traffic take across the network.  
  • All VPN routes and when routing prefixes deviate from normal.  
  • When an intermittent problem, like route flapping, occurs and where.  
  • What impact a router configuration change or new service will have on the network. 
  • When services take alternate or secondary routes causing performance degradation.  
In many ways, they are flying blind. 

This year at Africa Com, Packet Design will ask visitors to our booth, “Do you know everything yet?” We look forward to hearing how they respond.

Sometimes, when it comes to your network, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Packet Design will be exhibiting at AfricaCom 2013. Come and meet them at stand F16 by registering for your free ticket to AfricaCom Here 

6 Nov 2013

Dave Parratt, CCO, Oltio SA, talks Mobile Money in Africa

dave parrattAfricaCom speaker, Dave Paratt, is CCO of Oltio, South Africa. The AfricaCom team caught up with Dave ahead of the AfricaCom Conference and Exhibition, taking place at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa – 12-14 November to find out a bit more about his experiences and focus at the event.

Com World Series: What does the future of payments look like in Africa? 

Dave: The most important trend will be the move towards interoperability. Today we see payments being very disparate and fragmented. The lack of interoperability has the impact of entrenching cash as the prime means of exchange. However, as we see a movement towards the use of standards such as those provided by the card schemes the critical issues of authentication, authorisation and settlement will be made more available.

Com World Series: What are the key components in promoting financial inclusion for banks and telcos in Africa? 

Dave: The rise of mobile money systems was not brought about by the promotion of financial inclusion per se. This isn’t technically correct and rather it was driven by the desire of telcos to sell airtime directly to their customers and reduce the costs. The second desire was to reduce churn as it was understood that financial services created stickiness that telcos could not achieve especially in highly competitive and rapidly maturing markets. Banks on the other hand embraced mobile as a critical channel and have moved strongly into the lower income segments. The point is as each moves towards the other the critical driver will be standards and how they are driven to encourage interoperability. Ironically it won’t be lower income segment products that will drive financial inclusion but that the adoption and usage by the higher income and more profitable segments that will drive strong cost coverage and therefore the ability to deploy further down the income chain. Interoperability driven by efficient standards are an absolute prerequisite.

Com World Series: What is the next big trend for card payments?

Dave: Actually the big new trend is something that has been around for some time. Card-not-present. As the card moves into the phone and plastic quietly disappears the principles of CNP that we know today have to adapt to allow the positive authentication of the cardholder by the phone securely. 3D secure on the face of it provides this in the PC and tablet centric e-commerce but falls down in mobile and face-to-face  channels. Use of a known second factor such as PIN or biometrics are really the only way forward. Obviously we at Oltio believe that the PIN will be key. CNP plus PIN will see the PIN entered into the customers own phone and not the merchants POS or phone based device. The customer will in essence carry their own PIN pad. 

Com World Series: Which 3 countries hold the most potential  in terms of innovative payment technologies and why do you say so? 

Dave: I have to say SA as its been the hotbed of innovation in payments for year. Strangely enough the real innovation will come from countries where the card bases today are heavily biased towards PIN. So watch out for European countries ironically! PIN based cards currently cannot be used in CNP limiting e-commerce, m-commerce, in-App, vPOS and other channels. 

Com World Series: What is your strategic technology vision for your bank/telco?

Dave: Oltio is a JV between a bank and a telco. Our vision is that the customer will take control of their payment using their phone primarily as their security device – their PIN pad.  Get that right and all the other technologies such as NFC, Bluetooth etc can be enabled. Interoperability of MNO wallets needs this too.

Com World Series: What are your top 3 solutions that you are looking to source?

Dave: We are looking to license our unique CNP plus PIN technology. Branded as both payD and MasterCard Mobile in South Africa we also call it ORAGS or Oltio Remote Authentication Gateway Services. The service includes a USSD/WIG security overlay that uses the SIM to encrypt the PIN on the customers phone as well as a proprietary App based security offering. ORAGS can be deployed as a hosted services model or licensed outright.  A unique vPOS allows a customer to buy from a merchant without the need to either swipe a card or enter a PIN on a merchant device. 


Find out more at AfricaCom. Dave Parratt will be speaking at 13:10 on Day 2 in the Mobile Money Africa stream on “Boosting and securing online shopping". 

Register here

Africa: a ready market for cellular extenders

By Andy Robb, chief technology officer at Duxbury Networking

The market for increasing mobile network coverage is expected to grow rapidly over the coming year in Africa where the combination of inherently poor coverage in most rural areas and the limited availability of land-line options have contributed to a ‘mobile only’ mindset among consumers - and one of the highest GSM cellular operator-to-subscriber ratios in the world.

Extending network coverage easily at the network’s edge is necessary in most developing regions north of the Limpopo because housing density is too low and environmental risks too high to make construction of new base stations commercially viable.

Moreover, increasing the mobile network signal strength increases the mobile broadband throughput, the key to delivering enhanced Internet penetration which is increasingly demanded by business and private network subscribers across the continent.

While service providers are generally committed to meeting subscriber needs and improving reception, budget constraints often play key roles in delaying major projects of this nature. The most economical way to improve reception is thus through the installation of cellular repeaters or extenders, many of which could be provided free of charge to communities in terms of government-authorised upliftment schemes or foreign assistance programmes.

The freedom that exists in the African market has made it a target for some of the major cellular extender vendors, including Coiler, Nexitivity. While these brands are available through approved channels in SA, their availability in Africa is being encouraged by distributor Duxbury Networking along with responsible installation practices.

In Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the use of cellular repeaters demands care as the cellular spectrum that users will be extending or repeating is paid for by the cellular provider – the license holder - and should a device malfunction, it could interfere and degrade the signals on all provider networks.
It should also be noted that cellular extenders are often provider-specific. A repeater installed on one provider’s network will only work on that provider's frequency.

Because cellular extenders take a fairly high amount of power – around four amps – they are ideally suited to coupling with renewables such as solar or wind power. Again, this is an important consideration for the developing world, with its patchy electricity grids characterised by intermittent availability.

Duxbury Networking is an exhibitor at the upcoming AfricaCom communications Congress and Exhibition in Cape Town on 12-14 November and will have the latest offerings from vendors Coiler, Nexitivity and 2N on display, including third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) compliant GSM extenders designed to meet a wide range of application demands.  

Duxbury Networking will be exhibiting at AfricaCom 2013. Come and meet them at stand P21 by registering for your free ticket to AfricaCom Here 

5 Nov 2013

Service Quality Management: Game, Set and Match!

By Shlomi Angi, Pearl Lieberman
The mobile market is best described as an intense ball game, where multiple players are invested, the outcome of the match cannot always be predicted, and where the ball moves from hands to hands with little to no rest. On the mobile services field, new trends arise in the mobile market every year, inviting new players to the game: WiMax, Cloud Computing, LTE, Femto, IMS,… and challenging existing business models and predictions. As thrilling as a breathtaking game, the mobile market offers an environment in which the rules of the game are dynamic.
Customer Experience: The Real Referee.
With the new players taking part in the game every too-often, come a whole new set of paradigms: content, multimedia, social networks and appealing devices. The latter are empowering customers to be more demanding than ever. The quality of the game played becomes only as good as what your subscribers are experiencing.
Customers wish to get more and pay less, get more bandwidth than the network can actually provide, and they have zero tolerance for experience degradation. More than that, they use the over-the-top channels (OTT) such as Twitter and Facebook to express themselves instantaneously and spread their views to their network of friends, thus having the power to harm provider’s reputation and aggravate churn.
What game for CSPs?
Evolving in a field dominated by harsh competition, churn and lowering ARPUs (Average Revenue Per Users), Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are left with little choices: they can either lead the changes, or develop the ability to swiftly respond to them.
The game has evolved from a race towards the hearts, minds and wallets of subscribers; into a differentiated and personalized experience that deliver consistency, value and quality.
Easier said than done. The ace is no longer a single point, it is the combination of a few, under the same house. Indeed, in order to achieve such capabilities, CSPs need to adopt a holistic approach, across the whole customer experience, by incorporating granular profitability, quality and behavioral data across all layers. Network, Service and Revenue Assurance need to be brought to play together.
It is the alliance of these efforts under a single roof that guides TEOCO’s powerful solutions, delivering the following advantages:
  • A single lens of focus, calculating and reporting on the quality of services across the whole customer experience for thorough visibility
  • Customer-centric measures to view subscribers, and how services, devices and network affect their experience
  • Visibility over service usage patterns of different services
  • Support to Network engineering & planning
  • Dramatically reduce the troubleshooting time of service affecting problems
  • Provide alerts in near-real time to allow proactive service restoration
  • Combination of geo-located subscriber-level activity and experience, cross-referenced with customer data, behaviors, and preferences
Service Quality Monitoring (SQM): the golden slam to enabling growth
SQM benefits are all about Quality of Service monitoring over multiple dimensions:
  • Cost savings and more efficient investments: identify common errors, quantify financial impact and plan your network at best.
  • Reputation preservation & targeted marketing: understand your customers, tailor plans and offerings.
  • Revenue generation: measure and optimize revenues, cost, and profitability 
TEOCO’s winning strategy: Combining Service Quality Monitoring together with Customer Experience Monitoring.
TEOCO’s Service Quality Management solution focuses on Customer Experience Monitoring (CEM), and brings near real time quality monitoring together with “big data” service usage analysis.
TEOCO’s SQM, assesses the performance of the various running service by analyzing the network behavior. It measures, monitors and prevents degradations of customer services’ quality based on a thorough view of the provided services. The solution helps matching the technical quality and service performance with the customer feedback.
TEOCO’s SQM is a leading innovative solution designed to support CSPs facing the new mobile service quality challenges. It is mainly composed of two integrated parts, being fed by the same Mediation system and sharing a common presentation layer clients.
TEOCO’s SQM aims to serve different internal clients within each organization, where traditional users: engineering, network planning, SQ team) and emerging users: marketing (B2B, B2C, B2G), VAS managers, device managers, product managers, VIP/corporate customer managers, have to be separated. The same data sources in the network (e.g. CDRs), when enriched properly with relevant data, can and should be able to serve both the traditional users as well as the new emerging ones, and that’s one of the characteristics of our successful SQM solution.

Based on over 20 years of experience in the Telecommunications industry, TEOCO has positioned itself as a leader in the Telecommunications OSS & BSS marketplace. TEOCO provides Assurance and Analytics solutions to help CSPs manage their businesses efficiently and profitably.
TEOCO’s Customer Analytics solutions integrate big data from operational, network and business sources, incorporating granular profitability and behavioral data to power customer-engagement strategies. TEOCO’s SQM incorporates near real-time quality monitoring for a comprehensive perspective of the customer experience.
TEOCO’s portfolio also includes:
• Margin Assurance – Manage costs, revenues and profitability of every transaction.
• Service Assurance – Resolve faults, maximize performance & utilization, and improve user experience.
• Network Optimization – Optimize radio access networks to improve coverage, capacity, and quality of the network.

Teoco will be exhibiting at AfricaCom 2013. Come and meet them at stand F22 by registering for your free ticket to AfricaCom Here

MARKETING ANALYTICS: From the Macro to the Micro – what matters for you?

Written by Inna Ott, Director of Marketing at Polystar 

Voice revenues are declining. SMS revenues are shrinking. OTT messaging solutions are attracting increasing numbers of customers and threatening operator business models. At the same time, mobile data consumption is continuing to rocket. Every week, we are confronted with challenging news from the industry that grabs our attention and leads to much wringing of hands and introspective debate regarding the future role of the operator.

However, the thing is, these are macro trends. They certainly attract attention, but what is happening at a global or regional scale may not be the whole picture. Local conditions may be markedly different but this can be obscured by the doom-laden headlines. The reality is that every operator is different and has different subscriber profiles, a different mix of devices, and different price packages – and different service consumption levels. This means that the macro news may not adequately reflect the micro situation in any given network. The challenge is to understand these differences and what individual operators can do about them.

Inna Ott
Director of Marketing, Polystar
Contact Inna
As an operator, you must know what actually affects your own network. Of course, global trends are important and need to be considered when defining strategy, but what really matters is what is happening at a micro level. What is happening to SMS volumes in your own network? Which applications are users consuming with their data packages? Which handsets are being used for which applications or which attract the highest data consumption?

That’s why a deep-level understanding of the behaviour of your subscribers is so important. If things are changing, you need to know what these are, so that the significance can be determined. You need to understand what services subscribers are consuming, track usage patterns and predict new trends. You need to be able to collect real-time data, filter and sort it so that relevant information can be exposed. The collection and interpretation of such data is referred to as marketing analytics.

Robert Eriksson
Director CEM, Polystar
Contact Robert
Marketers need access to detailed information regarding buying and consumption habits in order to maximise conversion while minimising the marketing budget. For decades, businesses have been collecting data about their customers and using it to deliver enhanced products and to get more from their marketing efforts. Today, mobile operators are beginning to apply the same techniques, thanks to advances in deep packet inspection and software solutions that extract service experience information that is sorted so that it can be analysed and interpreted. With the right marketing analytics solution, operators gain rich insights into who is doing what, when, where and how at the micro level that really matters. This enables marketing activity that is perceived as relevant to the chosen target group, thus maximising the conversion rate.

Marketing analytics solutions gather data from many sources, including the network. They enable operators to work in a structured way to continuously improve their offerings, leading to a better customer experience and more loyal customers. In turn, this leads to decreased churn and increased revenue. But it’s hard to filter and make sense of the masses of data available from networks. Operators must be able to select the data that matches their needs and which helps them define the most suitable metrics for their success. What’s more, they need to be able to correlate the data obtained with detailed segmentation of their customer base: it’s one thing to understand how specific services are being consumed but how does subscriber demographics impact these trends?

This has traditionally been a job for experts in data analysis, but with modern, easy-to-use Marketing Analytics tools, powerful service experience information is available to a wider range of users within an operator’s organisation.  Which services are popular and which are in decline? Among which age groups are different services attracting the largest audience? Which handset models are being used for which applications? Comparing service consumption and activity levels with information about subscriber groups, their devices and other variables such as gender and age, reveals rich sets of data that provides powerful insights into product and strategy evolution.

In addition to reviewing individual services and their consumption, price models can be examined to determine the impact of changes in trials, promotions and standard pricing offers. Highly targeted campaigns can be launched which may help the success of new services, by ensuring that they are offered to the most receptive audience.

Polystar’s Jupiter Marketing Analytics solution delivers deep insight to make sense of subscriber data. It provides clear reporting of information collected from advanced network probes that are equipped with Deep Packet Inspection engines. The data can be filtered to provide a wide range of reports, which can be customised to suit the needs of Product Management or Marketing departments.

Traffic Report
Filter: Price Plan: 199, Age Group: 16-25, Applicant Category: Audio Video

The collected data can be correlated with subscriber profiles and information, enabling segmentation to be applied to review performance. Previously undiscovered relationships between subscription, customer characteristics, device and application usage can be identified and understood – and acted upon.

This can yield significant benefits for operators. They can take control of their networks and deliver real engagement to their customers by a deeper understanding of who they are, what they do and what they actually want. Without marketing analytics information, collected anonymously, securely and safely from all active users on their network, operators can only guess what’s going on. They may be too influenced by external events and not by the facts that are held within their network.

But with the right information in hand, marketers can develop and launch offerings that actually reflect real user behaviour. Such tailored offers can be more easily differentiated, and it becomes simpler to maintain value to their consumers. Equally, business and price models can be adapted much more quickly to changes in customer behaviour, for example increased video consumption and download.

Subscribers are a valuable asset. Operators have to understand them. That’s why operators need micro data. They need solutions such as Polystar’s Jupiter Marketing Analytics package to provide the deep and specific insight from their networks that will help them ensure a better customer experience while efficiently monetising their services. Every operator is different. Polystar helps each operator make sense of their own unique network and obtain the intelligence they need to deliver outstanding performance and a strategic orientation based on facts.

Drop by Polystar stand, E8c at AfricaCom to explore how your company can benefit from a fast and efficient Customer Experience Management and get aggressive return on investment in a short time period.

Book your meeting with the Polystar experts 

Register for your free ticket to AfricaCom Here

Here's what's in store for AfricaCom... Only 7 days to go!

AfricaCom, Africa's largest annual communications Congress and Exhibition is only 7 Day’s away. 

Learn about mobile broadband & LTE deployment, find out how to improve and maintain customer satisfaction and gain knowledge on the evolution of the mobile money market…

Learn from the first movers in Africa’s mobile broadband & LTE deployment...
“Data, data and more data” is what you hear when asking what mobile operators are focusing on in Africa. As consumer demand grows and services are booming, operators are busy upgrading their networks to meet the new needs and increase revenues from mobile broadband.

LTE @AfricaCom is a new event dedicated to planning for and deploying LTE networks successfully. Over three days, the programme will include keynote presentations, interactive panel discussions, in-depth training and master-class sessions covering all aspects of LTE strategies. Learn from the first movers in Africa’s mobile broadband and from the technology companies delivering on the LTE opportunity.

Find out more at the LTE session on Day 2 & Day 3 at AfricaCom & Check out the agenda here.

LTE@AfricaCom Speakers include:
Irene Charnley,
Group CEO,
Smile Telecoms
Miguel Geraldes,
Managing Director,
MTC, Namibia
Deon Geyser,
Chief Operating Officer,
Millicom International Cellular (Tigo), Tanzania
Wilgon Berthold Tsibo,
Equateur Telecom Congo (Azur)
Thibaud Weick,
Group CCO,
Smile Telecoms

Learn how to improve and maintain customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and to grow your client base...

The phrase “customer is king” has never been more true than in this age of fierce competition. The race to provide and monetise services is definitely on, but all your investments and all the innovation in the world is nothing if you customers are not happy. The Customer Experience Management stream at AfricaCom focuses on strategies to improve and maintain customer satisfaction resulting in loyalty and client base growth.

Find out more at the Customer Experience Management session on Day 2 at AfricaCom & Check out the agenda here.

Step inside the world of quality customer service with expert speakers including:

Ammar Awni Mubaslat,
Principal Consultant, BSS Marketing,
Domenico Convertino,
Head of OSS EMEA,
Stephen Essien,
Head of Customer and User Experience,
Ebi Edun,
Head of Customer Experience,
Etisalat Nigeria
Jemima Kotei Walsh,
Customer Care Executive,

Learn how the digital music market is shaping up in Africa and how revenue is generated...
Audiences across the continent are passionate about music – both international and from the vibrant local scenes.

On the business side of things, all is being built. While the music industry in Europe and North America is struggling to adapt to new market conditions, Africa’s market is structuring itself around an emerging digital ecosystem comprising of labels, telcos, aggregators, digital service providers, distributors, handset manufacturers, app developers and more.

Digital Music Africa is the new event to discuss how the digital music market is shaping up in Africa. Who is making money from Africa’s music scene?  Are the business models incentivising development by the entire ecosystem? How are revenues shared?  Take a look at which products will generate revenues, what the best payment methods will be, and where new alternative revenue streams can be identified.

Find out more at the Digital Music Africa session on Day 1 at AfricaCom & Check out the agenda here.

Digital Music Africa Speakers include:

Francis Keeling,
Global Head of Digital Business,
Universal Music
Axel Bringéus,
Head of New Markets,
Francis Ebuehi,
Spinlet Group
Johan Lagerlöf,
X5 Music Group
Alfonso Perez-Soto,
SVP Business Development, LATAM, Spain and Emerging Markets,
Warner Music

2013 Africa Com Awards...
Secure your Seat or Table at the AfricaCom Awards Show
Join the industry’s most innovative movers and shakers at the Waterfront Lookout at Granger’s Bay, Cape Town, on the 13th of November.

To secure your seat at the Award show, please click here or telephone +44 (20) 701 75506 | email ITMevents@informa.com.

s Show

4 Nov 2013

How to Implement LTE in Africa

By Philip Sorrells, Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Wireless, CommScope 

Wireless operators in Africa like in other regions are challenged to overcome the complexity of today’s wireless networks. Whether it’s 2G, 3G or 4G, wireless networks typically have to support multiple spectrum bands and technologies while preparing for more in the future. Regardless of the stage of evolution, however, it is always important to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) that a subscriber experiences. When planning for future evolutions, complexity, performance and reliability are variables that operators must consider.
Phillip Sorrells
VP Strategic Marketing

African operators who are exploring LTE know that SNR has a significant impact in high data traffic areas. Improving the SNR and reducing interference are critical for subscribers to realize higher data rates. Finding and eliminating interference—whether within the channel or across adjacent channels—involves avoiding passive intermodulation (PIM). Often PIM components in band can be identified based on the frequencies in use. CommScope offers PIM Band and Block Calculators that might be helpful, explained by Lou Meyer in his blog post.

Proper antenna selection and tilting can help reduce interference between cell sites, optimizing the network. LTE networks require faster roll off between sectors to avoid interference issues, a process we call sector sculpting. Multibeam antennas can send out targeted signals that enable sector sculpting. These antennas can also be a good co-siting solution that is scalable, easy to maintain and upgrade. Supporting multiple bands can be complicated; however, there are a variety of solutions and tools out there.

The Understanding the RF Path e-book is a resource CommScope offers for free. It includes nearly 200 pages of insight into installation techniques, network concepts, RF fundamentals and more. You can access it as an app from our website (iTunes, Google play, Amazon).

I will be talking more about these topics at the AfricaCom 2013 trade show in Cape Town, South Africa, running November 12-14. My presentation “Tried and Tested Best Practices for the Implementation of LTE,” part of the LTE@AfricaCom track, will be November 12 at 12:20 p.m. (UTC+02:00). Stop in for a listen.

What other topics come to mind regarding LTE implementation in African networks?

CommScope are a proud sponsor of AfricaCom 2013. Come and meet them in meeting room 6 by registering for your free ticket to AfricaCom Here