The mobile broadband revolution is underway in Africa as WCDMA gathers momentum and LTE establishes an early foothold. Competition in many markets is intense but new players are not deterred from pursuing fresh opportunities afforded by the next wave of growth in the region.
MTN Zambia became the first carrier in the country to launch LTE on Friday, as the company introduced the service in Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone. Phase two of the rollout, which is already underway, will expand LTE coverage within these same towns and cover new territories as well.
The details for global digital dividend spectrum allocation won’t be finalised until 2015 but Africa is the first region to cohesively earmark 700MHz bandwidth freed up by the transition to digital for future telecoms services.
Africa’s mobile market has largely been characterised by demand for low-cost prepaid feature phones. However, this is beginning to change as the cost of technology gradually declines and handset manufacturers operating in Africa are now preparing for a smartphone revolution in the coming years.
The pay TV market is starting to gather momentum in parts of Africa and the companies involved are working to create consumption and business models that reflect the region’s unique infrastructure footprint.
African newcomer Smile has launched in three markets this year with a pure LTE play. The firm believes that new technology can only be properly exploited by new players and has pledged to shake up markets across the region. Tom Allen, Smile’s COO, talks to Mike Hibberd.
George Fraser, VP – EMEA, at BSS provider CSG International, talks to Telecoms.com about the huge pressures of cost management in terms of service deployment.
The government of Niger has deactivated a third of mobile phone connections in the country in a bid to curb criminal activity using unregistered SIM cards, according to local reports.
Turkish operator Turkcell is seeking damages from African operator group MTN for alleged illegal acts relating to its GSM licence in Iran. The Turkish firm said it has filed a lawsuit against MTN before the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
Google is taking experience gained from the Google Fiber project, which has seen high speed broadband deployed to residences in Kansas City, Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah, and is turning its attention to a less obvious target market: Uganda.
Luc Tanoh, Chief Executive Officer, Econet Solar, talks to Telecoms.com about a business model operators can adopt, which uses solar energy to charge mobile devices to keep users connected and also improve their quality of life.
Atul Madan, Senior Vice President & Head MLS & PACS, Mahindra Comviva, talks to Telecoms.com about rising content consumption in Africa.
Grey routes, or international links that can be used by unscrupulous operators to avoid paying local interconnect fees to their peers, are costing carriers tens of millions in lost revenue.
Claire Cassar, Chief Executive Officer, HAUD Systems, talks to Telecoms.com about revenue leakage and the use of profiling techniques as a means to recover significant losses.
Omar Trujillo, VP – Africa & Latin America, at satellite operator O3b Networks, talks to Telecoms.com about the importance of low latency satellite connections to deliver a ‘fibre in the sky’ experience.
South Africa-based telco MTN Group has chosen UAE-based telco Etisalat’s SmartHub offering to extend its data network capabilities. MTN, which operates across a number of African, European and Middle Eastern countries, will use Etisalat’s SmartHub facility at Fujairah CLS to deliver content, IPX, IX and high-speed data services for its customers in the UAE and across the region
MVNOs in Africa should focus on the premium end of the market rather than offer low-cost ‘no frills’ services, according to Bjorn Florman, chief executive, wholesale business at Cell C. The South African mobile operator is one of the relatively small number of networks in the region that has wholeheartedly opened its network to MVNOs.
African operator group MTN has announced that it will upgrade and expand its 3G network in Nigeria. The operator has signed a contract with microwave network solutions provider Cambridge Broadband Networks (CBNL).
The struggle for control of Maroc Telecom, which has been rolling on since the start of the year, looks to be at an end. Emirates-based Etisalat signed a €3.9bn deal to acquire a controlling stake on Tuesday.
Handset manufacturer Tecno Group has announced it will build a “third phase” mobile phone assembly and production plant in Addis Ababa. The firm already runs two factories in the Ethiopian capital.