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What will telecoms look like by 2020 in Africa?

by Community Manager ‎17-05-2018 10:00 AM - edited ‎18-05-2018 09:32 AM

The numbers are growing rapidly

Researchers show us that by 2020, there will be over 6 billion mobile users around the world. 4.7 billion of those users will have access to the internet. The demand for internet has become more and more prominent. People see the internet as a channel to voice their opinions, learn more and communicate with others at any time of day. This has made telecoms companies aware that higher quality data connections are imperative.


The need for internet in Africa is unique

In Africa specifically, there is a large need for traditional voice communications as well as mobile data.  This makes the continent rather different to the rest of the world. Not everything is about lightning speed fibre internet, people want more mobile internet access than anything else in Africa. This is why telecommunications firms have innovated and created desired mobile internet solutions that allow flexibility, personalisation, and ease of access.


How important is loyalty over great service?

There are always new products that are being pushed in the telecoms industry, but how effective are they? More importantly, how flexible are they to the consumer? People are looking for mobile internet solutions that are adaptable, where you can choose your device and top up on your data and airtime without hassle. Many people are with a specific service provider on a 24-month contract and tend to renew with them to avoid more paperwork.   

But the cost is becoming a prominent reason as to why consumers are looking elsewhere. Consumers are getting more choice due to increased liberalisation, and as a result, they look to more than one service provider for internet solutions.

By 2020, most consumers will have more than one internet solution, whether this is a mobile contract, ADSL or fibre at home, or LTE. Most importantly, they won’t be afraid to work with more than one network provider. This will be based purely on who gives them convenience, good service, and a low cost.


Content is king and will continue to be in 2020

People have connectivity, but the key is to ensure that they are staying entertained and connected for a reason. Business models will keep changing and new product and service models will continue to grow and evolve. There will be an increase in competition and telecommunications providers need to adapt and innovate to ensure that consumers choose them over their competitors.

But what makes one different and better than the other? Network providers will need to offer new services and “over the top content” providers will be highly involved and integrated with network operators. Why? Because “over the top content” (OTT) providers will be the content investment in any telecommunications company. They have the content that every consumer wants to watch or engage with online. The line between service and network provider will continue to be blurred and the more services a telecommunications company offers on digital platforms, the more in demand they will become.


The future is about having an always-connected life

Essentially, by 2020, people will want their entire lives to be connected. They want connection in their cars, businesses, homes, machines and on the go.

Trends are most definitely driven by data and the need for more available connection in Africa is very prominent. We have the opportunity to use technological advancements, as the continent has done before. For example, South Africa invented cellular prepaid services, that has spread globally. This means that Africa can innovate without needing huge capital investments. Africans have the ability to innovate based on consumer behaviour and needs, building up the telecommunications industry to being beyond international standards by 2020.

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