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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 Nov 2008

IT and Telecoms: Strong activity in Africa’s telecommunications markets


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Africa’s main operators groups are showing great activity across the continent, where growth forecasts are still very strong. Showing the dynamism of the continent’s telecommunications industry, its leaders will gather at AfricaCom in Cape Town on 18th and 19th November to discuss their strategies for the year to come with an expected 3000+ audience.

Following a huge marketing campaign for the rebranding of its African operations from Celtel, Zain group is now concentrating on how to maximise its growth in Africa as part of its global ambitions. Its CEO for Africa, Chris Gabriel, will give a keynote speech to present this strategy. Rival group MTN has had a year of unprecedented investment in its networks following quality of service issues, and is now ready to start a new year on a stronger basis; Tim Lowry, Vice-President for Southern and East Africa region, will present the group’s pan-African ambitions.

Last week, UK-based group Vodafone moved towards acquiring a controlling stake of South Africa based Vodacom, following years as joint owner of the group with Telkom. This will secure Vodafone’s presence in some of the continent’s major markets (including South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania). Several Vodacom representatives will be present at the event to discuss various aspects of the groups’ strategy, including Nkateko Nyoka, Chief Officer for the group’s Regulatory and Stakeholder Relations, and Jose dos Santos, Managing Director of Vodacom Mozambique.

After adding several new operations to its existing ones in West Africa, Orange Group is now extending its presence in East Africa, with the launch of triple play services in Kenya (thanks to the acquisition of Telkom), and the newly announced acquisition of a stake in Hits Uganda, to be launched in the coming months. Marc Rennard, the group’s Executive Vice President and Head of International Operations for Africa, Middle East and Asia, will give a presentation on its strategy to improve access to internet services.

Other growing operators such are showing a similar willingness to expand their presence across the continent. Econet Wireless, owned by India group Essar, is one of them. Michael P Foley, CEO – Africa at Essar Communications and CEO of Econet Kenya, will give a presentation as well. Other key operators and service providers represented by their leaders at the event are Safaricom (Kenya), BOL (Tanzania), Flashcom (Kenya), Africell (Sierra Leone), Atlantique Telecom (Ivory Coast), Virgin Mobile (South Africa), Neotel (South Africa), as well as major network equipment vendors, interconnect solutions providers, satellite operators, VAS solutions providers and more.

Part of the renowned Com World Series, AfricaCom 2008 is the largest annual communications event dedicated to Africa, providing a meeting place for operators, regulators, investors and vendors from across the continent to debate the future of telecommunications in their marketplace, and to network with colleagues and international telecom experts. In 2008, over 3000 participants, 70 speakers and 160 exhibitors are expected to attend the event, representing the whole communications value chain, from GSM and CDMA operators, ISPs, regulators and government bodies, telecommunications solutions vendors, investors, analysts and more.

The event is supported by the GSM Association, the African CDMA Forum, the NEPAD Council, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Open Mobile Alliance and the Global Mobile Suppliers Association.

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