The future of Telecoms in Africa: The “blueprint for the brave”

Deloitte recently completed an in-depth analysis of the market, its trends, and the drivers of it. Click on the link below to download the full paper.

The future of Telecoms in Africa: The “blueprint for the brave”

Africa can no longer be considered the Dark Continent. Given the rate at which mobile connectivity is growing, it seems only natural that the way business is done will change. But how will Telco’s embrace this change and are they even ready for it? We are convinced that there will be consolidation in the telecommunications sector and inevitably more inbound investment as the market opens up and the economic returns improve.

Indigenous companies, foreign investors, and global players have all made significant investment into the continent or certainly parts of it. Even governments are waking up to the opportunity to regulate and to auction spectrum and licences.

While the future shape is still far from clear, we see four potential scenarios:

  1. Winner takes all – as the markets consolidate quicker than most operators can respond
  2. Turf wars continue as new and existing operators battle it out for the profitable market and are joined by banks trying to protect their core business against mobile payments
  3. New entrants come into the market from adjacent sectors with greater added value than the traditional carriers – foreign media and even advertising groups are viewing telcos as a readymade channel to market and
  4. Owning the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers is the end goal. Will telcos, who have laid the foundation for connectivity and access, be the winners; or will it be global technology groups, the banks, media, advertisers or retailer giants?

The impact in not just on the industry incumbents, but on all players in their respective value chains (hardware, software, services and people provisioning) as they reposition their offerings to keep in step with an unchartered end-state.

Click here to access the full report.

 

Microsoft’s OneDrive to take on Google Drive and Dropbox

What does the OneDrive cloud service have going for it? Why, Microsoft’s four-decade legacy and the reputation that goes with it, of course.

Over the years, critics occasionally — and justifiably — slammed Microsoft for cramming too many features into its software. But could that ingrained habit yet work to Microsoft’s advantage as it relaunches its consumer cloud storage service in a young market that’s up for grabs?

Microsoft on Wednesday officially announced the global availability of its rebranded cloud storage service OneDrive. Microsoft originally called the service SkyDrive but was forced to rebrand after British Sky Broadcasting, the biggest pay-television broadcaster in the United Kingdom, sued and won a trademark lawsuit over use of the name. Read more

 

More data on how mobile payments are common in Africa but smartphone ownership remains a luxury

A Pew Research Center survey consisting of face-to-face interviews conducted among 24,263 people in 24 emerging and developing economies from March 2, 2013 to May 1, 2013 provides another angle on African internet habits.

Findings include how internet use is more common among young people, how cell phone ownership rates are nearing 100%, how smartphone ownership remains a luxury, and how nations with a higher GDP per capita have a higher percentage of internet users.

We’ve summarized the African data below…Read more

‘Kill switch’ bill for stolen, lost smartphones proposed in U.S.

Legislation unveiled Friday in California would require smartphones and other mobile devices to have a “kill switch” to render them inoperable if lost or stolen — a move that could be the first of its kind in the country.

State Senator Mark Leno, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and other elected and law enforcement officials said the bill, if passed, would require mobile devices sold in or shipped to California to have the anti-theft devices starting next year.

Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, co-authored the bill to be introduced this spring. They joined Gascon, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other authorities who have been demanding that manufacturers create kill switches to combat surging smartphone theft across the country.

Leno called on the wireless industry to step up as smartphone robberies have surged to an all-time high in California.

“They have a choice. They can either be a part of the problem or part of the solution, especially when there is one readily available,” Leno said.

First of its kind in the U.S.

Leno and Gascon said they believe the bill would be the first of its kind in the U.S. Gascon and Schneiderman have given manufacturers a June 2014 deadline to come up with solutions to curb the theft of smartphones.

The CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group for wireless providers, says a permanent kill switch has serious risks, including potential vulnerability to hackers who could disable mobile devices and lock out not only individuals’ phones but also phones used by entities such as the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies.

The association has been working on a national stolen phone database that launched in November to remove any market for stolen smartphones.

“These 3G and 4G/LTE databases, which blacklist stolen phones and prevent them from being reactivated, are part of the solution,” Michael Altschul, CTIA’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. “Yet we need more international carriers and countries to participate to help remove the aftermarket abroad for these trafficked devices.”

Almost one in three U.S. robberies involve phone theft, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Lost and stolen mobile devices — mostly smartphones — cost consumers more than $30 billion in 2012, the agency said in a study.

In San Francisco alone, about 60 percent of all robberies involve the theft of a mobile device, Police Chief Greg Suhr said. In nearby Oakland, such thefts amount to about 75 percent of robberies, Mayor Jean Quan added.

“We’re in California, the technological hub of the world,” Suhr said. “I can’t imagine someone would vote against” the proposed kill switch law.

Gascon said the industry makes an estimated $7.8 billion on theft and loss insurance on mobile devices but must take action to end the victimization of its customers.

“This is one of the areas in the criminal justice system where a technological solution can make a tremendous difference, so there’s absolutely no argument other than profit,” Gascon said.

Last year Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, proposed installing a kill switch in its devices. But the company told Gascon’s office the biggest U.S. carriers rejected the idea.

A Samsung statement issued Friday said the company doesn’t think legislation is necessary and it would keep working with Gascon, other officials and its wireless carrier partners to stop smartphone theft.

Apple, the maker of the popular iPhone, said its “Activation Lock,” as part of its iOS 7 software released in the fall, is designed to prevent thieves from turning off the Find My iPhone application, which allows owners to track their phone on a map, remotely lock the device and delete its data.

Gascon has praised Apple for its effort but reiterated on Friday that it is still too early to tell how effective it will be.