NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Telecommunication firms (telcos) across Africa are maximizing their return on
investment from data and on monetizing emerging opportunities such as the
Internet of Things (IoT) to remain competitive and afloat, experts at a global
research firm said on Tuesday.
Kalebaila, research director for telecommunications, media, and IoT at
International Data Corporation (IDC) said this is due to increasing levels of
competition that is forcing them to seek new methods to stem the steady decline
of traditional voice services.
“We expect to
see greater market consolidation as telcos increase their efforts to acquire
smaller ISPs in response to the challenging marketing conditions,” Kalebaila
said in a statement released in Nairobi.
market consolidation which is mainly in West Africa is being driven by
heightened market saturation, declining average revenues per user (ARPUs),
increasing operating expenditure, and diminishing profit margins on services.
“As such, IDC
expects some consolidation within the market, especially between local ISPs that
possess 4G LTE frequencies and fibre-to-the-x (FTTX) infrastructure and
multinational telcos with solid financial support,” Kalebaila said.
where 4G adoption is already gaining traction, discussions around
fifth-generation network technology (5G) will take center stage, creating
awareness and bringing the possibilities and expectations of future data
networks to the forefront.
vendors to focus on the higher bandwidth 5G offers and the technology’s
potential ability to support emerging services such as IoT, seamless video on
demand or IPTV, drone video recording, smart city solutions, and virtual reality
applications,” said Kalebaila.
expect 5G to deliver gigabit connections that enable the seamless delivery of
rich multimedia services and applications,” he said.
said that telcos that take concrete steps to transform themselves internally
will be best positioned to survive digital disruption.
focus areas in 2017 will include business model transformation and network
efficiency improvements using so-called ‘3rd Platform’ technologies,
namely cloud, big data, mobility and social business,” he said.
IDC, as competition continues to increase in Africa’s more mature telecom and IT
markets, the need to attract and retain customers through differentiation has
expert said, means that telcos must move beyond traditional connectivity
offerings and provide IT services such as unified communications and
collaboration, cloud, and datacenter services.