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.”
Glo Simplifies Customers’ Access to Company’s Information
Globacom has demystified what used to be a cumbersome task of getting company’s information from its website, a situation that had in the past, frustrated several customers from getting relevant information from company’s website.
It is now easy for companies and organizations to give their stakeholders free access to their websites through a service called Sponsored Data on the Globacom network.
Through the service, customers and other members of the public will be able to browse the website of the sponsoring company even when the members of public have no active data subscription.
Explaining the service, Globacom said companies would be able to buy data buckets and subsequently allow their existing and prospective customers or any other member of the public to access their websites, apps and other data services without having to expend their own data. The cost of access by the end-user is borne by the sponsoring companies.
Globacom in a statement disclosed that Sponsored Data service is a more targeted and effective method of inducing trial of the sponsoring company’s digital products as well as free trial and free sampling of its content.
The telecom operator said the service would give better return on investment (ROI) to the sponsoring companies, adding that it will facilitate over 70 per cent increase in customer engagement and foster incremental revenue through the engagement of new customers. The company said this service would be particularly beneficial to betting companies, IT and Technology companies, manufacturing concerns, banks, schools and others.
Globacom said staff of the sponsoring companies who are on the Glo network could also benefit from the sponsored data plans.
According to Globacom, there are various options for companies and organisations wishing to use the sponsored service as they are free to choose from sponsored data buckets ranging from 200GB to 50TB, according to their needs.
Globacom said “the plans are already available on the network and are valid for renewable 30 days.”
Globacom said it would continue to come out with solutions that would boost customer’s experience, especially at the period of CoVID-19 that has increased online activities of organisations, since most customers and staff of organisations have shifted to online activities in order to align with the new normal, brought about by COVID-19 pandemic that has negatively impacted on businesses.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Inspired by Fans for the Fans
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has revealed the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (FE), the newest member of the Galaxy S20 series. Galaxy S20 FE is a premium flagship smartphone that includes innovations Galaxy fans told us they love most, and it is also made available at an accessible price point.
COVID-19 disrupted the world as we knew it and technology is now playing a more crucial role in our lives and that is why we created Galaxy S20 FE; to deliver flagship experiences to more consumers.
Samsung took select features of the Galaxy S20 series, such as the super smooth scrolling display, an AI-powered camera, advanced chipset, hyper-fast connectivity, all day battery, expandable storage, with a streamlined premium design, in order to create the all-new Galaxy S20 FE.
“The S20 FE is an extension of the Galaxy S20 family and is the start of a new way to bring meaningful innovation to even more people to let them do the things they love with the best of Galaxy.” Says Mr. Caden Yu, the Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa
All you want, to do what you love
Express the best of yourself when out on a day trip or at night catching fun with a pop of color that reflects your personal style, attitude and personality. The S20 FE comes in variant colors of Cloud Red, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint and Cloud Navy.
With the S20 FE, the fun never stops. The pro grade camera and 30X Space zoom help you capture memorable moments whether near or far at day time.
Plus, the night mode multi-frame and powerful performance gets you through the fun nights and the 4500mAH battery keeps you on all day with little in between time to recharge using the 15W fast charging.
And since life can be unpredictable, the Galaxy S20 FE is water and dust resistant; IP68 rated. Better yet, when accidents happens, one can rest easy knowing the 24 months warranty and Screen repair offer that comes with Pre order has got your back.
The S20 FE is available for pre order from the 9th of October with a Wireless Bluetooth earphones, Clear Standing cover and Screen repair offer. You also get a 4 month Free Subscription on YouTube premium. Trade In Discount Offer also available from Pre order. Trade in your old phones and enjoy discount on the S20 FE
The S20 FE would be officially available in the market from the 23rd of October. Visit any of our Samsung Experience Store nationwide for an amazing and pleasurable experience.
With its variants of colors, S20 FE comes with a 6GB RAM/128GB ROM, a long lasting battery of 4500mAh with 15W fast charging, a 32MP selfie camera and a 120Hz Super-Amoled display.
MTN Revv Programme: Experts Train SMEs on Customer Experience and Data Analytics
Experts at the latest edition of the Revv Programme masterclass have trained SME owners how to improve customer experience and maximise data analytics to scale their business growth.
The virtual conference themed: “Redefining customer experience through effective customer relationship management and data analytics” which was held on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
Panelists at the conference included the Olubayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ugonwa Nwoye, Chief Customer Relations Officer, MTN Nigeria, Adenike Ogunlesi, founder and Chief Responsibility Officer, Ruff N’ Tumble, Chairman, Fasmi CRO Group, Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe and Principal consultant, Niche Customer Experience Consulting Firm, Debbie Akwara.
Olubayo Adekanmbi, who is an astute business leader and recognised data scientist, shared insights on the customer mindset in a post-COVID economy.
According to him, “Even though we are in a new normal, we are still dealing with a person who has the capacity to adjust to every environment.
“As SMEs we have to observe the environment, learn from it and take actions accordingly”.
Ugonwa Nwoye brings over 25 years of management experience across industries including Oil and Gas.
She advised the participating SMEs to pay attention to diverse customer channels as they arise.
“You need to meet the customers where they are. To achieve this, a good customer database is essential. You need to know the kind of channels your customer wants to be reached.”
While sharing her experience as an entrepreneur of over three decades, Adenike Ogunlesi emphasized that customers want to feel good where they spend their money.
“The most important thing is that regardless of the technological tools you deploy today, it is all about the experiential economy which is the way you make people feel.”
While thanking MTN for the Revv initiative she noted, “This sort of platform allows SMEs to learn much quicker than the opportunity we got thirty years ago, well done to MTN”.
The Revv Programme was launched in August by MTN Nigeria as an initiative to train over 10,000 SMEs by adopting a four-pronged approach that includes masterclass sessions, support with productivity tools, access to market and advisory initiatives.
The programme seeks to help SMEs relearn, readjust, and retool their businesses in a post-COVID economy.
Since inception, over 5,000 entrepreneurs have attended the Revv masterclasses with more than thirty business leaders and industry experts across different sectors facilitating the sessions.
Participants at the masterclasses have been enjoined to take full advantage of the programme for a chance to join Y’ello 200, an accelerator programme by MTN Nigeria where select small business owners will access a broad range of technology and productivity support tools in addition to expert advisory.
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