Strategies for future growth in Africa’s mobile market

Date: January 22, 2010
Pages: 32
US$ 2,495.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: SEE6632F511EN

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Strategies for future growth in Africa’s mobile market
The African mobile market has been a resounding success in its first decade of existence thanks to the brilliance, diligence and doggedness of mobile operators. However, as this decade draws to an end, the dynamics of the market are changing. Gone is the pent-up demand that awaited mobile operators in 2000. Instead most mobile operators now face an intense competitive environment to win new customers, explore new product/service opportunities and make profits. Faced with this reality, operators in Africa must update their strategies to cope with the changing mobile telecoms landscape.
Executive summary
In a nutshell
Ovum view
The African mobile market remains a good place to invest
Operators must get the strategy right
Key messages
Market opportunities
Success so far
Mobile opportunities galore
Mobile voice market is not yet saturated
Mobile data/content: a harvest awaits
Mobile money: banking for the unbanked
Mobile Internet access: helping Africa to bridge the digital divide
Wholesale services: enabling connectivity across Africa
Business ICT services: boosting business performance across Africa
Consumer ICT services: serving the man on the street
Social/technological projects: the benevolent operator
National ICT projects: empowering governments to serve the people
The challenges in Africa
Politics, regulation and security
Infrastructural limitations
Preparations for the future
A broader mindset
Emphasis on the big picture
The need for a proactive strategy
Time to tweak the operator’s organizational motive/structure
Internalizing good customer relations
A ‘land grab’ strategy has its downsides
Learning from western supermarkets
Africa still arouses interest from investors
Strategies for success in Africa
A framework for future growth
Understand your customers
The customer-focused operator
Diversify mobile away from an FMCG
Rethink the prepaid model – migrate to a hybrid model
Operational excellence
Decision time: to be LEAN or to be SMART?
Optimize role in the value chain
Time to change the conservative approach to network management
Embrace alternative energy sources
Seek partnerships
Define clear rules of engagement for partners
Woo content developers and service providers
Partner with non-telecoms companies, local entrepreneurs and local governments
Product and services innovation
Turn challenges into opportunities
Embrace an open, collaborative innovation environment
Motivate staff to innovate and create the right teams for innovation
Engage with the government
Campaign for favorable policies
Align operations with government development strategies


Table 1: Operator models in the African mobile market


Figure 1: Revenue and connections forecasts for Africa
Figure 2: Africa’s mobile opportunities roadmap
Figure 3: The operator’s network can support more than voice services
Figure 4: Voice will continue to dominate mobile revenues in Africa
Figure 5: Internet forecasts for Africa
Figure 6: Africa to be swamped by international fiber connections
Figure 7: The African mobile operator of the future
Figure 8: Comparison of mobile operators and supermarkets
Figure 9: Future strategic framework for operators in Africa
Figure 10: What your billing platform should do for you
Figure 11: The mobile value chain – how to position for efficiency
Figure 12: Partnership guidelines for operators and third parties
Figure 13: A typical community phone centre in Africa
Figure 14: Mobile devices will dominate Internet access in Africa
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