Problems facing Telecom industry in Africa

January 11, 2013

Myriad problems facing the telecom industry in Africa are plenty and extensive and the sector players should understand that Africans are migrating to volumes of data from minutes of usage. Therefore, operators need to move away from their legacy strategies focused on customer retention, which has had the effect of commoditising the value of minutes and bandwidth in customers’ eyes. Another important issue that mobile operators need to understand is to respond to ever changing customer expectations and behaviors. In any telecom business venture, operators need accurate, timely and comprehensive business intelligence that largely been lacking in most African countries and customer analytics, that some expats claimed are sometimes flawed and integrated operational support and billing systems.It is crucial for governments in Africa and regulators to adopt pro investment policies to sustain the sector’s momentum and for operators to form workable stances on a range of issues, including the increasing relationship between fixed and mobile policies.Another difficulty telecoms will face is failure to properly address customers’ trust in operators than in social networks when it comes to security guarantors across a range of services for mobile malware attacks and rogue apps.

Another challenge that has been gathering momentum is failure by operators to work closely with governments to clarify their responsibilities in areas such as anti-terrorism like has been the case in Kenya and Uganda and content for children, and collaborate with suppliers and partners to tackle privacy and security issues in new service areas such as cloud security and mobile apps.I must admit that Telecom players are investing heavily in technological innovation, and in the development of technology and innovation. The growth rate is continuing at a fast pace and new value added products and services are driving the consumer spending behavior. At the same time, technological advance has dramatically changed the cast of players involved in the telecommunications infrastructure. Many mobile providers are investing heavily to upgrade their infrastructure to 3G and 4G.Infrastructure demand in telecom sector is growing at a fast pace along with the volume of the traffic. The future growth in the communications industry in Africa will depend on industrial and political capacity for institutional change, and consumer reaction to new value based services. Players in the telecommunication industry that want to emerge successful need to influence cutting-edge technological developments and should be operating where leading industry and technology developments are taking place otherwise they will face a rough road ahead.

Contador Harrison