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Spending on Telecom, Pay TV Services Hobbled by Inflation – IDC



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International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Telecom Services Tracker, has reported that worldwide spending on telecommunication and pay TV services will reach $1,55-trillion in 2023, an increase of 3 per cent over 2022.

Spending on Telecom, Pay TV Services Hobbled by Inflation - IDC

The latest forecast is one percentage point higher than the previous forecast published in May.

This is the third increase in the forecast in the last 12 months with inflation being the primary driver.

The geographic regions seeing above-average forecast revisions are the Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America.

This is mainly a consequence of hyperinflation happening in countries such as Turkey, Uganda, Egypt, and Argentina where it has become normal to see quarterly ARPUs (average revenue per user) growing by more than 50% on a yearly basis.

On the other hand, expectations for the telecom services market in Western Europe have been lowered slightly primarily due to a worsened economic environment in a few key countries including Germany.

IDC believes this is the first sign of a new market force emerging that will put the current growth rates under pressure and slowly bring them down toward the end of the forecast period.

Inflation is certainly a global phenomenon, but the trends it shapes in different local markets vary significantly. In many countries, telecom operators were allowed by regulators to increase their tariffs (often applying a Consumer Price Index model), resulting in healthy service revenue growth on an annual basis.

In other countries, however, this move drove the accelerated migration of customers to cheaper tariff packages and cheaper operators so the value growth rates were much lower than the nominal tariff increases.

A third group includes countries such as Italy, where the competitive situation did not permit operators to do any tariff adjustments.

And among a fourth group of countries, mainly the developing countries in Eastern Europe and Africa, tariff increases were prevented by the populations’ low purchasing power.

An analysis by type of telecom services confirms that the well-known trends continue despite the changes in top-line forecasts.

Mobile is and will remain the largest segment driven by the growth in mobile data usage and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications which are offsetting declines in spending on mobile voice and messaging services.

The fixed data services segment will also grow driven by the need for higher bandwidth services will fall over the forecast period as rapidly declining TDM voice revenues are not being offservices. Spending on fixed voice set by the increase in IP voice.

The traditional Pay TV market will decline slightly over the forecast period due to the growing popularity of video on demand (VoD) and over the top (OTT) services, but these services will remain an important part of the multi-play offerings of telecom providers across the world.

Prices of all goods and services have been increasing for quite some time. Economic growth has recently started to decelerate following increases in central bank interest rates.

Consumers and businesses have been under pressure as they try to maintain a balance between rising costs and limited budgets. Although the elasticity of the telecom services is relatively low, and it is hard for customers to imagine everyday life without them, any excessive tariff increases might affect demand.

“Operators need to carefully evaluate every single market for tolerance to price increases,” said Kresimir Alic, research director, Worldwide Telecom Services at IDC.

“They should continuously assess and compare the product mixes, quality of services, pricing, and customer support capabilities of all supply-side participants. That information should help them find a magic percentage that will not scare the customers away, have positive impact on revenues, and help them maintain healthy margins in these turbulent times.”

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PalmPay Named Among Top 250 Fintech Companies in the World by CNBC and Statista



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Africa-focused fintech platform, PalmPay, has been included in the 2024 edition of CNBC and Statista’s prestigious list of the “Top 250 Fintech Companies in the World.” This recognition underscores PalmPay’s rapid growth and significant contributions to advancing financial inclusion.

The CNBC/Statista list honours fintech pioneers significantly transforming the financial services industry through technology. More than 2000 companies were evaluated globally based on general and sector-specific KPIs to determine the final selection.

In 2024, some of the most influential fintechs in the world were included in the list, including Alipay, Nubank, Monzo, and Revolut. Six other African firms made the list: Flutterwave (Nigeria/US) – Payments; Kuda (Nigeria/UK) – Neobanking; MTN (South Africa) – Payments; Piggyvest (Nigeria) – Financial planning; and Yoco (South Africa) – Payments.

PalmPay has developed an integrated platform that caters to consumers and businesses in the African market. The startup, which has been operating since 2019, pioneered a unique model in Nigeria that provides financial services such as money transfers, bill payment, credit services and savings via a one-stop-shop fintech ‘superapp’ and mobile money agents.

This dual approach of easy-to-use digital banking, combined with offline touchpoints for those without smartphones, has contributed to driving financial inclusion in a market where more than 40% of adults remain unbanked.

In 2023, PalmPay announced a major milestone of reaching 30 million registered users on its smartphone apps and 1.1 million businesses in its network of mobile money agents and retail merchants. A third of PalmPay customers report that the platform was their first-ever financial account.

PalmPay has quickly grown to become a market leader in Nigeria thanks to its user-friendly interface, reliable transactions, and focus on driving market share through fee-free transfers and promotions. PalmPay processes 15 million transactions on its consumer app daily and maintains a 99.5% transaction success rate.

To achieve this scale in a market where 10% transaction failure rates were common, the company built out its payment infrastructure, channel integrations and transaction routing systems. In addition to its consumer wallet, PalmPay offers services to businesses that leverage the PalmPay platform via its suite of POS machines, APIs and checkout solutions.

“It’s an honour for PalmPay to be recognised by CNBC and Statista as one of the World’s Top Fintech Companies,” said Sofia Zab, Global CMO, “This recognition validates our unique approach to financial services and our commitment to driving financial inclusion. We are actively expanding PalmPay’s reach and offerings, ensuring more people have access to essential financial services and promoting economic development in emerging markets”

PalmPay operates in several key markets across Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania, with plans to expand further in the region and other emerging markets. The company has global HQs in China and London.

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WiDEF Launches Round of Technical Assistance to help Close the Gender Digital Divide



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The Women in the Digital Economy Fund (WiDEF) announced today the launch of its second competitive round, this time inviting applications from large private sector enterprises seeking technical support to scale proven solutions to significantly close the gender digital divide.

Announced by the White House in March 2023, WiDEF is a joint effort between USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate progress on closing the gender digital divide, managed by CARE, Global Digital Inclusion Partnership and the GSMA Foundation.

This round of support takes the form of tailored technical assistance to scale products, services or approaches that can significantly increase women’s access to and usage of the internet. It follows WiDEF’s     first round of funding and support that closed on May 6th 2024 for local organisations.

The technical assistance on offer aims to help to unlock opportunities to significantly close the gender digital divide, rather than supporting an enterprise’s ongoing “business as usual” activities. Examples of the kind of technical support private sector enterprises might apply for might include:

–  Research into the principal barriers and needs of underserved segments of women to inform actions to better support them to access and use digital technology and the internet

–  Evaluation of existing products and services for women to inform their evolution and wider usage

–   Testing specific approaches and services to ensure they best meet the needs of underserved women

–  Product adaptation and iteration, including the analysis of service usage data, user feedback and further design research

Business modelling and support for scaling products and services

“From our experience, we have seen how the right technical assistance can truly help companies unlock impact at scale.

“Through this new round, we believe we can deepen the private sector’s contribution to the closing of the gender divide across low- and middle-income countries, in line with the GSMA Foundation’s unwavering commitment to addressing this challenge,” said Max Cuvellier Giacomelli, Head of Mobile for Development, GSMA.

WiDEF will provide successful applicants in countries where USAID operates with tailored technical assistance for up to two years valued in the range of $50,000 to $150,000 USD. This support will be provided by the WiDEF Consortium and third-party suppliers engaged by WiDEF.

WiDEF aims to support commercially sustainable, scalable and evidence-based solutions to help close the gender digital divide. Successful applicants will need to articulate how their solution – and the technical assistance they draw on – will address at least two of the following core priority areas for WiDEF:

Improved access to affordable devices and online experiences

Increased availability of relevant products and tools

Elevation of digital literacy and skills

Enhancement of safety and security

Additionally, all applications will need to generate insights and data that expand the collection and use of gender-disaggregated research and analysis.

Full eligibility criteria and the application process can be found here. Applications are due by September 12, 2024.


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Reps to Donate 50% of Salaries to Fight Hunger



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House of Representatives at a plenary session on Thursday pledged to give up 50 per cent of their salaries for six months to address the hunger across the country.

During the session presided over by Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu amended the motion, urging his colleagues to sacrifice 50% of their salaries. He made this plea when it was his turn to speak, seeking their support for this gesture.

“This government is doing its best but one year is not enough to address the challenges of this country. I want to plead with our colleagues to sacrifice 50 per cent for a period of six months.

“Our salary is N600,000 a month. I want to plead that we let go of 50 per cent of our salary for a period of six months,” Kalu said.

With each member paying N300,000 into a common purse, the legislative chamber will be contributing N108m monthly to the Federal Government and N648m for six months.

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