WhatsApp hurting mobile revenue in African telcos want to fight back

Mobile revenue growth has declined in sub- Saharan Africa since 2013 and is expected to continue its downward trend until the end of the decade—despite a fast-growing subscriber base.

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Much of the drop has been attributed to the use of over-the-top (OTT) messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. With more subscribers showing a preference to chat and and make voice calls via these platforms, there’s an “increasing cannibalization of traditional voice and messaging revenues,” according to a new Mobile Economy report by the GSM Association (GSMA) trade organization.

At stake for Africa’s telcos is the significant capital investment made to build out mobile networks. The industry is expected to spend around $31 billion to expand across sub-Saharan Africa over the next four years, says GSMA.

Telco executives argue that to see a return on that investment, voice and SMS revenue growth will need to match or outperform previous years. “You can’t adjust your costs for building the same quality of network,” a senior executive at one of Nigeria’s main telcos told Quartz, referring to a problem of “voice transference” as more Nigerians use WhatsApp in particular.

Services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have been subject of debates by local mobile operators and regulators. Last year, Nigeria’s telecoms regulator claimed that amid diminishing revenues, OTT services overwhelm local operators’ networks and leave them with little incentive to invest and improve broadband capability. South African operators also have complained about OTT services freeloading on their networks.

“They don’t pay taxes, don’t develop infrastructure, they don’t even open offices and create jobs. They are undermining our industry.” complained a senior executive at one of South Africa’s largest mobile operators, who asked not to be identified as he did not have permission to speak publicly on the topic.

Local regulators keen to be seen as supportive of digital platforms favored by young people also do not want to discourage investors—or harm tax revenue—by ignoring the complaints of the phone companies.

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Top 5 Quality Mobile Application Development Tips

Are you looking out to develop mobile applications? Do you want your mobile apps to go viral?

Photo published for Top 5 Quality Mobile Application Development Tips - DZone MobileFollow these exceptional mobile app development tips to develop quality mobile applications that will build trust of your customers and get you more business:

1. Real-time Data Distribution

Mobile app users love to get the most updated information when using any applications. Considering various mobile applications such as movie tickets booking, flight bookings, etc. needs to fetch the latest data in each of their areas.

While developing mobile applications, take care of introducing different data distribution methods that allow your applications to send the latest information to your customers.

A slight mistake in booking can crash your app in terms of losing customers. I guess, no mobile app developers can take that.

2. Accurate Responsiveness

Responsiveness is something which you cannot compromise on your mobile applications. You cannot judge what mobile devices your customers will be using while accessing your mobile apps.

Don’t take that chance of losing the attention of your customers while switching the mobile devices. Their experience will decide on success or failure of your mobile apps. So, consider responsiveness as a top most priority while developing mobile apps.

You can ease your hassles of developing responsive mobile applications right while choosing the development platforms.

3. High Scalability

This is really interesting and very important factor while developing mobile apps.

Do you underestimate your mobile apps by limiting them to a certain amount of users?

I think you should work on developing your mobile apps with the highest scalability options. Imagine your mobile apps getting viral and more and more users are attracted towards downloading your apps. More scalability in terms of more usage, space, speed, databases, etc. needs to be introduced initially itself.

It will be a great experience when you don’t have to worry about your apps while they’re becoming more successful.

4. Cross-platform Accessibility

Well, while developing any mobile applications, we don’t know what will be the future requirements of your customers or end-users.

Why don’t we implement such a development platform that can reduce our headache of future implementations?

Recently, one of our enterprise application development clients wanted to develop an another version of their application in iOS. I must say, our development team played well at this. Thus, the cost and time to deploy was less. Our client was very happy and so were we.

5. Security Measures

When you develop enterprise applications that transfers business-critical information, we need to take care of the security breaches.

Appropriate user authentication has to be designed in such a way that ensures the security of any sensitive information or data that is being accessed via our applications.

How QSRs are catering to needs for instant gratification in today’s world

Waiting in line for what was meant to be fast food can take the edge off a tasty meal. But quick service restaurants (QSRs) are complicated operations: real-time manufacturers serving hundreds, if not thousands, of hungry customers every day. And the QSR sector just seems to be growing in popularity as more consumers demand food on the go. About 80 percent of Americans eat out at QSRs at least once per month, half the population eats there at least twice a week, and roughly seven percent do so every day. If that wasn’t enough, the coveted Millennials eat out at an average of three or four times per week and spend almost half of their food budget at QSRs.

With the bigger QSR chains leading the way, many establishments are now offering the ability for customers to order their meal ahead of time through a smartphone app. Just select from the menu and indicate the pickup time. No need to wait in line, and the payment happens instantly in the background, all controlled by the app with no need for cash or cards. Consumers can beat the lunchtime rush and simply waltz in, pick up their meal and go about their business without the lengthy wait. No fuss, no mess, no hassle.

Embedding the payment mechanism is a vital component to making this work. After downloading a QSR’s app, customers register their preferred payment mechanism and never need to look for their wallets or a card again.

But this is not limited to single QSR chains read more

Ransomware can target mobile phones

Ransomware doesn’t only target desktop and laptop computers, but some cell phones as well, according to internet security experts.

“We’ve seen Ransomware start to be developed for Android mobile devices,” said Eric Klonowski, Senior Advanced Threat Research Analyst at the anti-virus company Webroot. “All this is a major concern.”

Image result for ransomware on mobileMobile phone ransomware looks very similar to what you might see on a computer.

Ransomware has not shown up on iPhones yet, Klonowski says.

“It’s highly unlikely that we will see iPhone ransomware sneak through the app store. In addition to reviewing all apps, Apple has a number of security measures in place that prevent apps from interacting with other apps or your pictures, data, etc. while installed,” he said. “Android phones also have similar security measures, but the user can often be coerced to disable it. Successful iPhone ransomware would require a very sophisticated attack on an unprecedented scale.”

Most hackers who design ransomware do it without much sophistication and find it most lucrative to design software for computers, he said.

“Ransomware is super easy to develop. These are concepts learned in Computer Science 101, file modification and very basic (encryption,) he said.  Klonowski suggests mobile and computer users back up their data to an external hard drive. Most mobile phones can be backed up to a computer and that data can then be copied to an external drive.

Once the backup is complete, he says users should disconnect the hard drive so if the computer or mobile phone is infected, it will not spread to the disconnected drive. Read more