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Access launches first LTE voice data network in Malawi aimed at high-end niche customers, leaving CDMA for lower end customers

Access Communications has launched Malawi’s first LTE voice and data network using its valuable 800 MHz spectrum. It wants to develop a high-end product for its existing niche customers. Russell Southwood spoke to Faizal Okhai, CEO of Access about what he’s got planned.

Mozilla brings low, low-cost smartphones to Africa – Looking forward to 50-80% smartphone ownership

One of the most interesting players helping provide cheap smartphones is Mozilla. With its Firefox OS it both offers a route to a much cheaper smartphone and an OS that is not the dominant “dark star”, Android. Russell Southwood spoke to Mozilla’s VP, Planning and Ecosystem Rick Fant about what it’s doing and how it will impact Africa.

The Mobile Gender Gap in Africa is Costing Operator Revenues – Women own less phones and use them less says GSMA study

The gender gap in Africa is part of a broader global gap in terms of both handset ownership and use. Unless operators get to grips with closing this gap, they could be losing significant revenue according to a study from the GSMA. Russell Southwood spoke to Claire Sibthorpe, GSMA Connected Women Programme Director about what the study shows.

Q. In broad terms, describe the global gender gap in terms of mobile ownership and use?

Gambia’s Netpage makes it first across the line to launch 4G/LTE – Will make quality of service a priority

The race to be the first to provide 4G in Gambia has gone to Netpage which has launched its service last week. Others were in the race but have not yet reached the finishing line. Russell Southwood spoke to Netpage’s CEO Simon Abraham about his ambitions for the new service.

In issue no 728 10th October 2014, we reported that I-Link had plans to launch an LTE service in Gambia in early 2015. It has been pipped at the post by the launch last week of Netpage’s service.

Battle for 4G subscribers in Cote d’Ivoire set to hot up as mobile operators get ready to roll-out – YooMee wants to be reference point for quality and speed

The battle for 4G subscribers in Cote d’Ivoire looks like it will hot up soon as the “big gorilla” operators enter the market. There’s currently a blockage but the Government and regulator think they have a plan to overcome it. Russell Southwood spoke to Yann Le Guen, Managing Director of Cote d’Ivoire’s only independent 4G provider YooMee.

Zimbabwean MVNO Viva! wants to take on the dominant mobile operator on price and service innovation

As we noted in Issue 747, the MVNO wave in Africa seems finally to be moving as regulators open up this space as a way of providing innovation and competition. Zimbabwe looks set to create an MVNO opening and a new operator called Viva Mobile Network is keen to be one of the first on the start line. Russell Southwood spoke to its CEO and founder Dzidzai Chidumba.

Main One to offer Infrastructure as a Service in April in partnership with EMC and Microsoft

The transition to cloud based services in Lagos is coming into view. As the Lagos Infraco, Main One wants to be able to offer pervasive fibre and is launching Infrastructure as a Service with EMC and Microsoft. Russell Southwood spoke to its CEO Funke Opeke about where the market has got to,

Main One’s independent data centre in Lagos launched in mid-January this year. It has 600 racks and is adjacent to its cable landing station in Lekki. Opeke says that:”Interest globally has been phenomenal” but it hasn’t yet sold a lot of racks.

Malian MVNO Aidou Telecom set to launch later this year with cheaper prices and LTE – The African MVNO bandwagon starts moving?

MVNOs have hardly made a dent on African markets. A number of regulators have talked about issuing MVNO licences but it largely remains talk. However, an influential Malian is now setting about launching one in a country that needs more competition. Russell Southwood spoke to Dr Adama Traore about the MVNO he wants to launch, Aidou Telecom.

Africa's Online and Mobile Music Platforms – The Puzzle of Who Will Succeed in a Crowded Field

There are well over 100 runners in the race to succeed as Africa's best and biggest online and mobile music platform (see last market report). Even now there are new entrants waiting in the wings. Russell Southwood looks at why the race to the top is so hard to call.

Africa’s Forgotten Featurephone Users – What they use, what they want and their future

Africa’s featurephone users number in the millions but are largely forgotten when start-ups start to target mobile Internet users. A piece of market research carried out by Balancing Act gives some insight into what they do with their phones and what they want. Russell Southwood looks at what emerges from the research and the uncertain future of the featurephone.

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