(Xinhua) -- Telecommunication firms (telcos) across
Africa are maximizing their return on investment from data and
on monetizing emerging opportunities such as the Internet of
Things (IoT) to remain competitive and afloat, experts at a
global research firm said on Tuesday.
George Kalebaila, research director
for telecommunications, media, and IoT at International Data
Corporation (IDC) said this is due to increasing levels of
competition that is forcing them to seek new methods to stem the
steady decline of traditional voice services.
“We expect to see greater market
consolidation as telcos increase their efforts to acquire
smaller ISPs in response to the challenging marketing
conditions,” Kalebaila said in a statement released in
He said market consolidation which is
mainly in West Africa is being driven by heightened market
saturation, declining average revenues per user (ARPUs),
increasing operating expenditure, and diminishing profit margins
“As such, IDC expects some
consolidation within the market, especially between local
ISPs that possess 4G LTE frequencies and fibre-to-the-x (FTTX)
infrastructure and multinational telcos with solid financial
support,” Kalebaila said.
In markets where 4G adoption is
already gaining traction, discussions around fifth-generation
network technology (5G) will take center stage, creating
awareness and bringing the possibilities and expectations of
future data networks to the forefront.
“IDC expects vendors to focus on the
higher bandwidth 5G offers and the technology’s potential
ability to support emerging services such as IoT, seamless
video on demand or IPTV, drone video recording, smart city
solutions, and virtual reality applications,” said Kalebaila.
“We also expect 5G to deliver gigabit
connections that enable the seamless delivery of rich
multimedia services and applications,” he said.
Kalebaila said that telcos that take
concrete steps to transform themselves internally will be best
positioned to survive digital disruption.
“The key focus areas in 2017 will
include business model transformation and network efficiency
improvements using so-called ‘3rd Platform’
technologies, namely cloud, big data, mobility and social
business,” he said.
According to IDC, as competition
continues to increase in Africa’s more mature telecom and IT
markets, the need to attract and retain customers through
differentiation has become imperative.
This, the expert said, means that
telcos must move beyond traditional connectivity offerings and
provide IT services such as unified communications and
collaboration, cloud, and datacenter services.