2015 is a pivotal year for West Africa’s digital development
Airtel is Ghana’s 4th mobile operator in terms of customer market share, and the 3rdin terms of revenues. Maxwell Dodd has been Director of BusinessSolutions at Airtel Ghana for the past two years, where he is responsible for developing end-to-end communication and technology solutions to the Corporate, SME and Global markets. He shares his thoughts on the market ahead of his participation to Connecting West Africa in Dakar, Senegal in June.
Maxwell says 2015 is a pivotal year for the region’s digital development: “the proliferation of smartphones within the market coupled with over 100% teledensity within a market of five GSM operators clearly shows that voice is saturated”, he says. New opportunities must be explored: “ Big data is yet to be harnessed with operators working on launching innovative data-driven solutions such as M2M and video as a service to take advantage of the opportunity”.
With regards to the impact of the digital transition on the telecoms and media sector, he says: “Digital transmission is driving changes in consumer behavior whereas increasingly connected devices are driving demand for high-speed connectivity and ever-greater data consumption”. This has an undoubted impact on operators’ models, as it “not only puts pressure on infrastructure capacity, it challenges the sustainability of current pricing models such as unlimited data packages”. According to him, “this trend will impact convergence within the telecom ecosystem (connectivity, services, devices, content, etc.) and will drive growth within the digital media, significantly leading to new forms of digital media and content”.
As for the enterprise market, which is his area of responsibility, communication needs are wide ranging: fixed voice, mobile voice, mobile data, fixed data (dedicated internet, leased lines, ISDN), Managed and hosted services (Audio conferencing, video conferencing, Bulk SMS, Corporate Ring back tone, Virtual Pbx, IP Telephony).
Operators need to be innovative in order to launch attractive services, which Maxwell believes is happening, as “telecom operators are undertaking strategic partnerships with OTT players to launch innovative services such as cloud services (E mail and domain hosting, file sharing), data center services, antivirus, video surveillance, video as a service, fleet and asset tracking solutions and mobile satellite services”.
Asked what he thinks are the most interesting debates to expect at Connecting West Africa this year, Maxwell concludes: “The debate to expect this year is how operators will evolve to take advantage of the era of big data by launching innovative solutions and services in 2016”.
Maxwell Dodd will give a presentation on serving the growing enterprise market in West Africa, sharing his experience at Airtel Business in Ghana
Neolectum is proud tu support this event. Connecting West Africa will be taking place this 9-10th June in Dakar, Senegal. For more information, or to register for Connecting West Africa, please visit: www.comworldseries.com/westafrica