Connect with us

Telecom

African Telcos to Prioritize Emerging Opportunities in Order to Stay Afloat

Published

on

Africa Telcom.jpg

Telcos across Africa are increasingly focusing on effectively maximizing their return on investment from data and on monetizing emerging opportunities such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to remain competitive and afloat, according to George Kalebaila, research director for telecommunications, media, and IoT at International Data Corporation (IDC).

This is due to increasing levels of competition that is forcing them to seek new methods to stem the steady decline of traditional voice services.

“We expect to see greater market consolidation as telcos increase their efforts to acquire smaller ISPs in response to the challenging marketing conditions,” said Kalebaila.

“Particularly in West Africa, this is being driven by heightened market saturation, declining average revenues per user (ARPUs), increasing operating expenditure, and diminishing profit margins on services. As such, IDC expects some consolidation within the market, especially between local ISPs that possess 4G LTE frequencies and fibre-to-the-x (FTTX) infrastructure and multinational telcos with solid financial support.”

In markets where 4G adoption is already gaining traction, discussions around fifth-generation network technology (5G) will take center stage, creating awareness and bringing the possibilities and expectations of future data networks to the forefront.

“IDC expects vendors to focus on the higher bandwidth 5G offers and the technology’s potential ability to support emerging services such as IoT, seamless video on demand or IPTV, drone video recording, smart city solutions, and virtual reality applications,” said Kalebaila. “We also expect 5G to deliver gigabit connections that enable the seamless delivery of rich multimedia services and applications.”

As competition continues to increase in Africa’s more mature telecom and IT markets, the need to attract and retain customers through differentiation has become imperative. This means that telcos must move beyond traditional connectivity offerings and provide IT services such as unified communications and collaboration, cloud, and datacenter services.

“In the medium to long term, telcos will be forced to re-evaluate their business models to efficiently design, develop, and deliver cost-effective solutions and services,” said Kalebaila. “This may compel telcos to migrate from operating legacy networks to deploying agile systems that are capable of increasing operational efficiency while speeding up the time to market of new solutions.

Those telcos that prioritize technologies such as network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) for the delivery of connectivity, cloud, and datacenter services will be well placed to maximize cost savings, achieve greater efficiency, and increase productivity.”

In 2017, telcos are also expected to focus more on 4G monetization strategies such as enhanced data offerings, service bundling, and partnerships with digital media companies from a content perspective.

While the deployment of 4G networks is already gaining traction across Africa, spectrum availability, low customer awareness, low coverage, high tariffs, and the cost of 4G smartphone devices remain key challenges.

“The availability of affordable 4G smartphones is expected to increase 4G penetration, and those telcos that are creative in their offerings and allow customers to trade in their existing 3G devices will differentiate themselves from the competition,” said Kalebaila. “Rather than focus on extolling the features of 4G, telcos could further drive adoption by introducing innovative data bundles and transparent prices, particularly as 4G provides an opportunity to start transitioning to a data-centric model and begin preparations for a voiceless future.”

Open application programming interfaces (APIs) is expected to become more commonplace, enabling the developer ecosystem to drive innovation and for telcos to improve partner management. “Historically, open APIs were used in traditional telco services such as USSD and SMS,” said Kalebaila. “Going forward, we expect to see remarkable growth in financial services platforms like mobile money and breakthrough emerging technologies like IoT, in a bid to drive the release of APIs by telcos to the developer ecosystem. This will allow telcos to harness innovative and localized solutions.”

Kalebaila said that telcos that take concrete steps to transform themselves internally will be best positioned to survive digital disruption. “The key focus areas in 2017 will include business model transformation and network efficiency improvements using so-called ‘3rd Platform’ technologies, namely cloud, big data, mobility and social business,” he said.

Before they can become digital transformation partners to their clients, telcos will first need to harmonize their internal IT environments with external-facing IT systems and become digital providers to their own internal business functions. “By streamlining, optimizing, and modernizing their own IT environments, telcos can leverage the lessons learnt internally to optimize customer service and experience to their external clients,” said Kalebaila.

He added that telcos need to identify their key challenges, prioritize the development of unique digital transformation strategies, and implement a phased approach to digital transformation. “For example, Telcos can use big data technologies to upsell and cross-sell services, design new products and services, or create new revenue generation streams from existing customer data assets,” said Kalebaila. “Understanding and tracking customer behavior will also help telcos provide personalized and optimized offerings to their subscribers, and therefore help enhance customer loyalty.”

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Telecom

NCC Hosts UNODC, Vows to Sustain Collaborations Against Cybercrimes

Published

on

By

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will continue to collaborate with other government agencies and international partners towards stemming the tide of cybercrimes.

Mr Sunday Dare, NCC’s executive commissioner, Stakeholder Management, stated this on recently at the Commission’s Headquarters during an interactive session with representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC.

Kamal Toure, the UNODC eLearning Project Officer and Patrick Boismenu, cybercrime expert, were at the Commission’s Headquarters as part of their assessment mission to West Africa to gauge how well Nigeria, Senegal and the Gambia are able to fight cybercrime.

Mr. Dare noted that the Commission performs its regulatory functions in a way that ensures that its licensees take the steps necessary to combat cybercrimes.

He explained that “The role of the NCC here is to do an audit and make sure that we have all the ISPs having active databases and meeting the six months (data retention requirement) as stipulated in the license provision.”

Responding, Patrick Boismenu stated that UNODC is willing to provide assistance in needed areas to ensure that ISPs comply with requirements for data retention because of the crucial role data plays in fighting cybercrimes.

“Our goal is to ensure that cybercrime investigators have access to the tools they need to do their work,” Mr Boismenu explained.

Continue Reading

Telecom

TCP: NCC Says Consumer Satisfaction, Robust Sector Top Priorities

Published

on

By

By Ugo Onwuaso

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is determined to carry out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry were healthy.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of the Commission, made the remark during the 81st edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) held in Lagos.

He added that “it has taken steps to ensure that the telecommunications sector remains vibrant”.

Mr. Sunday Dare, the executive commission, Stakeholders Management, NCC, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, said that “the commission would carry out its regulatory functions to ensure that the companies operating in the industry were healthy”.

The Chairman said that the regulatory body had made interventions to prevent disruptions in the consumer’s experience.

According to him, “NCC has commenced aggressive enforcement of the Code of Corporate Governance to ensure that licensees in the industry continue to operate as viable businesses.

“The consumer deserves all the credits for the past and indeed the future successes of this industry.

“The Nigerian telecommunications consumers are at the centre stage of our regulation.

“We at the NCC, being consumer centric regulatory organisation have decided to celebrate consumers of the Nigerian telecommunications industry consistent with the eight point agenda that I set out when I assumed office in 2015.

The number two and six items of the agenda are the core drivers of the NCC year of telecommunications consumer initiative.

“While the number two item of the agenda addresses improved quality of service.

And item six is concerned with protection and empowerment of the telecommunications consumers,” he said.

He also stated that all NCC’s initiatives such as SIM card registration, Mobile Number Portability, Broadband policy implementation, development of 2442 and 622 short codes as well as various consumer awareness campaigns were to ensure consumer satisfaction and protection.

Danbatta added that the commission would continue to look out for and protect the interest of the consumer without compromising the interests of other stakeholders in the industry.

Mr Abdullahi Maikano, director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of NCC, said that over the years, TCP had proven to be an innovative way of bringing all stakeholders together to discuss and proffer solutions to industry issues.

Maikano said that the TCP had continued to occupy a pride of place in the commission’s activities.

He said that NCC would continue to provide significant resources to ensure that the parliament is held regularly for the benefit of consumers and the industry.

Continue Reading

Telecom

Banks’ Working for Early Sale of 9Mobile — Fidelity Bank Boss

Published

on

By

Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, managing director of Fidelity Bank Plc, has said that all the banks whose money is trapped are working together for smooth sale of the telecoms on or before the end of the year.

This is as the 180 days’ window handed down to the receiver managers of 9Mobile draw nearer.

Explaining industry issues in a recent interactive session with select editors and publishers in Lagos, he said “As you are aware, the creditor banks came together to appoint a new Board and Management for the company, with the Deputy Governor of the CBN as chairman of the Board”.

“The company has good fundamentals with about 22 million subscribers, and it is also very strong in data. Our interest is to ensure the company remains a going concern so that it can attract interested buyers. The banks are working collectively on this,” Fidelity bank chief executive revealed.

It would recalled that at the heat of the $1.2bn syndicated loan default crisis which nearly grounded the former Etisalat, both the telecoms regulator and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), considered the volume of subscribers and intervened.

Part of the intervention was the appointment of Dr. Joseph Nnanna, former Deputy Governor of the CBN to head the chair the board and prepare it for potential investors between 90 to 180 days.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.

%d bloggers like this: