12 Jun 2014

Operators and their partners discuss profitability and efficiency in data networks at Connecting West Africa

After a first conference day discussing operators' data strategies, the Connecting West Africa audience re-convened today in Dakar. The day's sessions covered in more details how to improve profitability thanks to better cost-efficiency and attractive services.

The second day started with a panel and interactive round tables on how to manage costs without reducing quality of service. The participants highlighted the importance of balancing capex and opex, outsourcing and energy strategies. The role of regulators was also mentioned as crucial to support operators in offering affordable communications services to end-users.

The audience represented stakeholders from the telecommunications sector across the region: MNOs, regulators, OTT players, satellite operators, vendors and more from countries as varied as Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Niger, Mali, Benin, Chad, Ghana, Congo, Cape Verde and more.

Events in the Com World Series -  which Connecting West Africa is part of - will continue looking at how Africa can embrace data networks and services to serve the continent's needs.

Glowing feedback from 2014 attendees:

"I enjoyed Connecting West Africa 2014 because this seminar allowed me to meet many partners all at once. It is well organized and supported the participants immediately. I enjoyed it greatly!”

Sophie Kouma
International Carriers Account Manager
Orange Cote D'Ivoire

“Great Opportunity to meet industry players in the sub-region. Meeting peers and partners is always an enriching experience and opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities. Thank you Informa”

Amer Atwi
Comium Gambia

“The Connecting West Africa forum is a excellent place to meet people from the industry and exchange ideas, through Speed Networking. The presentations were very informative and educative for the challenges which operators are facing.”

Ndiaye Ousseynou
Interconnect Manager
Airtel Congo

“Very well organized but would suggest to make it at the Kind Fahd Palace next year.”
Fabienne Sane
Responsible Communication
Sonatel Orange

Save the date: Connecting West Africa is back next year on the 9th - 10th June 2015. 

10 Jun 2014

It’s all about data at Connecting West Africa in Dakar

The 11th Annual Connecting West Africa event opened in Dakar, Senegal today. A full conference room with delegates from across the region gathered to listen to presentations and debates with operators and suppliers on how to prepare networks for the growing data demand.

Maty Sene of host operator Sonatel gave a presentation on operators’ strategies to develop profitable data-ready networks. He predicted that the proportion of data revenue will go from 10% to 40% by 2018, making it crucial for operators to embrace innovation in order to maximise those revenues. Mark Pritchard from Microsoft said West Africa was ‘blessed in terms of submarine cable landings”, making “broadband internet connectivity at super fast speed a reality”. Samba Sene of the Orange Technocentre in Abidjan and Yann Le Guen of Yoomee Cote d’Ivoire addressed the LTE opportunity for the region. Dominique Baron of Horus Telecom looked at how to serve rural areas more effectively and Lare Atcha of Intelsat looked at new satellite technologies. The debates covered commercial strategies, cost-efficiency, quality of service challenges, LTE deployments and technologies to ensure operators maximise the revenue opportunity from data.

The event was of course focused on networking and sharing experiences, with a busy exhibition, a speed networking session and networking drinks.

The second day of the event will include more interactive sessions to discuss various aspects of cost-efficiency (power management, infrastructure sharing, outsourcing), the role of regulators and governments in promoting broadband access in the region, and value-added services.Thank you to our sponsors (Intelsat, Horus Telecom & Utilities), our host operator Sonatel and all exhibitors.