Mobile number portability schemes in Africa have not yet been a real success. There are a variety of reasons, including multiple phone ownership. But Ghana’s NCA has been running a scheme for a year now and has done a review of how well it has worked. Russell Southwood looks at the winners and losers.
Video streaming will be the next big wave of online content use in Africa. There are still considerable network challenges but… The level of existing use shows that once these issues are resolved, the volume of users will be in the millions. Russell Southwood spoke to the biggest player in the market Google’s You Tube. Elijah Kitaka explained how it sees the potential of video streaming being realized.
On June 21st, Cellcom officially launched its HSPA+ services at a ceremony attended by a crowd of over 400 VIPs. For a day, Monrovia’s City Hall was decorated with Cellcom’s red and white flags and banners with the slogan “4G The First. The Fastest”. Isabelle Gross, who attended the event, looks at what it takes for a small mobile operation to launch a new 4G network and, at the commercial potential that becoming the technology leader in the data market may bring.
There are now several online and mobile music TV platforms that have started in Africa. Some like Iroko Partners started with Nollywood film and went into music, whilst others like Spinlet have started with music and could easily go into TV programming. Orange has thrown its hat into the ring with entry of its minority-owned Deezer platform into Africa. Sylvain Beletre, Senior Research Analyst, Balancing Act talks to the key players.
A joint venture between local and Indian investors, Bharat Telecom Ltd has set itself the ambitious target of connecting every home and office in Mauritius to a fibre network. It has been testing its technology in one community on the island and is due to launch soon. Russell Southwood spoke to one of its directors, Baljinder Sharma.
Outside of South Africa, the games sector in Africa has had almost no profile, which is strange considering that it will almost certainly be one of the key content drivers on mobile handsets. Two Nigerian games developers spoke to Russell Southwood this week about the games they have developed and how they see the business model developing.
There’s a mismatch happening out there in African markets. Users have demonstrated that they want streaming video services and they want them now. However, the majority of operators do not have the networks required to deliver these services. New entrants are coming to market and the pressure to deliver streaming effectively can only intensify. Russell Southwood talks to Nyasha Mutsekwa, CEO, MeTVAfrica.com about how things are shaping up.
The table below shows the position of You Tube in the Alexa web site rankings:
Sponsored by Nokia, infoDev and the Government of Finland, this week’s Open Innovation Africa Summit (OIAS) in Nairobi focused on how to create the ecosystem that will help develop services and applications for the mobile Internet. Russell Southwood attended and used it as an opportunity to see where things have got to since that last event 18 months ago.
The opening up of VoIP in Africa’s more liberalized territories over the last five years is beginning to make a small but increasing impact on the market. It is one way in which all voice will become data in the next 5-10 years, which will have profound consequences for how telcos operate. Russell Southwood looks at a couple of early birds disrupting existing models.
Prices for wholesale bandwidth are dropping across the continent but particularly in the more competitive markets. These price drops will shake up how wholesale bandwidth is delivered and undermine some existing business models and no-one will be exempt from this process. The price falls are necessary to deliver the cheapest possible prices to households and individual consumers but current business models may need to be sacrificed to achieve this goal. Russell Southwood looks at how these changes will affect the business.