30 Oct 2014

AfricaCom 100 survey reveals that despite challenges, Africa’s digital industry has a bright future

The AfricaCom 100 survey provides insight as to the future of Africa’s digital sector. 

Key findings include:

-    Better partnerships between the different stakeholders (operators, vendors, OTT, governments etc.) are needed to make        broadband access more affordable to Africans
-    Digital industry players should invest in priority in mobile broadband and tech start-ups
-    Infrastructure sharing and better partnerships will help address rural telecom challenges
-    Mobile Money and new financial services are the most promising new revenue streams for operators
-    Dissatisfaction with quality of networks is holding back excellence in customer experience in Africa
-    Operators are still unsure about the business case for launching LTE in Africa

London, 29 November 2014 – AfricaCom, the continent’s leading event for the telecoms, media and ICT sector, today announced the results of the AfricaCom 100, the first pan-African survey enabling key players in the market to share their views on the future of Africa’s digital industry. The full results will be shared at AfricaCom (http://africa.comworldseries.com), CTICC. Cape Town, 11-13 November, 2014. The survey, which was launched in September 2014, enabled the event organiser Informa Telecoms & Media to collect expert opinions on the trends changing the digital ecosystem in Africa. 

The survey’s questions covered questions of network developments, investment, new services and partnerships. The main findings reveal that despite challenges, Africa’s digital industry has a bright future, with the potential to deliver innovative and profitable services.

Investment in in networks is a major necessity, both to deploy mobile broadband (seen as the main way of improving access to affordable broadband by 25.7% of respondents) and to improve quality of service, which is by far the main point holding back excellence in customer experience, as voted by 61.8% of respondents.

In terms of new services, 32.4% of respondent saw mobile financial services as the main source of new revenues, closely followed by digital content & entertainment services with 29.4% of answers. Big Data and e-commerce/m-commerce were further behind but still significant with each over 14% of responses.
The digital sector is all about partnering for development. Better partnerships between the different stakeholders (operators, vendors, OTT, governments etc.) are the main way to improve access to affordable broadband (31.4% of responses) and when added to infrastructure sharing, are the best way of meeting the rural telecom demand (61.8% of responses). In addition, 34.4% of respondents said that they would like to invest in tech start-ups to develop the next big services and apps.

Discussing the AfricaCom 100 research project, Julie Rey, Research Director, Com World Series, commented: “The AfricaCom 100 research project is an important new development for AfricaCom; it provides a new tool for our attendees and exhibitors to develop strategies to meet the potential of Africa’s telecoms, media and ICT markets.  The results show the market is still facing challenges but stakeholders are taking concrete steps to meet them and to look into new revenue streams”.

The participants of the AfricaCom 100 survey include decision makers from Africa’s digital industry, with representation from leading organisations such as MTN, Airtel, Vodacom, Facebook, Google, Millicom/Tigo, Orange and more. Their full responses to the study will be unveiled at AfricaCom, alongside deeper discussions with regards to the results shared in the AfricaCom 100 survey results. For more information about the event, visit http://africa.comworldseries.com /