Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Latest on East Africa's Telecommunication space

Certainly telecommunication is an area that has grown significantly in the last few years in East Africa and is still ranked as one of the highest growth area.

Currently all East African countries are preparing for the entry of high bandwidth on fibre connected to the Global communication networks. Most telecommunication service providers are and have invested heavily on infrastructure to make use of the anticipated bandwidth increase. With most communication regulators in the region issuing unified communication licences more and more GSM and fixed telephony providers are moving to converged offerings with data, voice and video both fixed (triple play) and mobile (quad play).

The operators are now offering Internet services traditionally offered by the stand alone ISP's, as well as GSM, CDMA and other voice solutions. Sooner they will be offering VOIP solutions and content on demand solutions like video on demand.

What does this mean to corporates and to the individual users? This issue will look at 5 things that will definitely change on corporate interactions.

To corporates, this means
1. cheaper telephony for businesses across the globe, branches and to customers, VOIP will especially make a lot of business sense. As long as there is a reliable Internet connection on either ends of the call, a call can be made via the Internet at the cost of the Internet connectivity only which is expected to be much lower on commissioning of the three fibre solutions.

2. Easier resource management and time optimization. Because of the ability to use tele and video conferences, meetings across business functions, branches, global offices, to partners will be possibly done with everyone at their own location/office. This saves time of travel and will keep people focused on their core business. Live messaging solutions will also increase sales force communications with clients without having to keep travelling.

3. Corporate communication and employee learning programs will be made easy with streaming video and voice recording on demand. Solutions like Webex (by Cisco) will enable management of information across the corporate, to partners and to customers as well. Recorded messages can be accessed by stakeholders including consumers.

click below to see more on webex
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4. For East African companies, we expect that social media will start affecting business directly. The positive part being that there will be a lot of data gathered on customer objective views easily and cheaply, more marketing and sales avenues will also open up and we can now access and acquire mind share more easily. On the down side, it will be time for PR execs to put on their gumboots and head to the field as there will be a lot of publicity both negative and positive online and they will need to be there listening and driving the discussion before any damage is done.

5. The best and most important thing that will happen to East African businesses is availability of data for business. There is not much online about the region and when most of us are working on the Macro environment we rely on offline sources. A lot more content will be loaded online with the availability of bandwidth and

On the next issue we will discuss the effects of bandwidth on you as a person.

For information on the current intenet penetration and mobile phone subscription for each east African Countries please see the links below;



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