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 /

28 Oct 2014

Creating Opportunities for Nano credit in emerging markets

Everywhere in the world, right in this moment, someone is communicating their love, value of their business, saying goodnight, good morning or good bye, selling their product or simply following up on a conversation. Someone else is communicating over email, listening to their favorite band, or video chatting with friends. In the next few seconds, for some of those people  those connections and conversations will abruptly end when they run out of or exceed their minutes, messages, airtime, cable TV, electricity units or money or data on their cellular plan.

We feel their pain, we’ve been there.

That’s why created something to help them finish the conversation, see the last minutes of the game, wash off their soapy hair, say good night,  finish that college application due in an hour, hear the song ending of their favorite band, pay that hospital bill, or even buy that shoe and say one last ‘I miss you’.

We give people the chance to complete their aspirations.

Formed with the main aim of bringing everyday mobile solutions through Mobile Network Operators to everyone, with emergency Credit financing, we provide nano-finance (facilities of less than USD20) to prepaid customers through innovative and customized solutions.

According to the Ericsson mobility report in June, there are approximately 6.8 Billion mobile subscriptions world over.

Out of these numbers, Africa, India, China and Middle east contribute over 4.3 billion subscriptions ( a majority of the numbers so to speak). For instance the top 5 countries by net additions were India, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh who contributed accounted for over 50% of new mobile subscriptions in Q1 2014.

These numbers in themselves speak volumes. It is worthy to note that a large portion of these markets are predominantly pre-paid.

Telcos in Emerging markets are continually faced with the challenge of servicing low ARPU customers with new low cost products and services. The other key area of growth will be in mobile money transfers, payment and low denomination credit – or nano credit if you are to use a different term.

These mobile markets are overwhelmingly prepaid, and that means airtime vouchers, as well as new SIM cards, must be widely and easily available if an operator is to have a business that functions at all, successfully or not.

As an experienced VAS provider in the emergency airtime space, MODE knows these challenges too well. Founded in May 2010 by two aggressive and passionate individuals and some earnestly trusting board of directors from across the globe, We started off operations in Kenya and have since facilitated transactions for millions of people across the globe, with offices in London, Singapore, Nairobi, New Delhi, Kampala, Mumbai, Lagos, Lusaka and Johannesburg.

Mode will be at AfricaCom 2014 – to register: http://africa.comworldseries.com/register/

27 Oct 2014

AfricaCom Speaker Geoff Cohen, 24.com on creating a future-proof Pan-African media and content business

AfricaCom 2014 speaker Geoff Cohen, CEO, 24.com on: the geographic reach of its online news service; the importance of mobile; what it knows about its audience; how it does and doesn't compare to newspapers; its profitability; and its use of video.

Geoff Cohen, 24.com will be speaking at AfricaCom (11-13 November 2014). For further details and to register, go to: www.comworldseries.com/africa and follow it on #africacom

Interview by SmartMonkey TV