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Analysys Mason expands its African activities with office in Johannesburg
Speaking from Analysys Mason's Johannesburg office, Manager Robert Schumann said that sustained economic growth and maturing telecoms markets create a compelling case for business of all types to expand in the region. "GDP growth above 5% in most countries and the opportunity to leapfrog technology generations means that these countries are more attractive to firms across the TMT sector, from outsourcing to enterprise IT to fixed and mobile broadband. However, the maturing of some markets means that operators' strategy is no longer about expansion at all costs. Key issues for operators will be rationalising capex through infrastructure sharing and use of wholesale carrier services, which creates opportunities for new businesses, and rationalising opex through smart management."
Areas that are likely to experience revenue growth are ICT services, including mobile-enabled services exemplified by mobile money, and the media sector. "Electronic media in Africa present intriguing possibilities, precisely because the markets are not fully mature, but also because they depend on a variable which will increase disproportionately in Africa in the next ten years: disposable income. It is tempting to view media as the next big opportunity, as mobile communications was when Analysys Mason first worked in Africa in the 1990s."
David Eurin, Partner and Head of African operations at Analysys Mason, considers national broadband planning to be a priority for African governments, operators and consumers. "Although infrastructure is important, promoting use of the Internet should be a key aim for governments. They should be considering schemes to offer free or low-cost Internet access, and encouraging the public and private sectors to offer useful online services to create a pull factor." For operators, Eurin considers a key issue is the use of 'big data' to enhance customer experience and provide additional revenue streams. Keeping profitable customers, which was not a major factor in the past, will become a greater concern for operators in future.
The new office in Johannesburg will be manned by a team of consultants, including local recruits and experienced staff from other offices. The launch comes two years after Analysys Mason initiated a Middle East and Africa research programme. The new team will contribute to this programme as well as leverage the insight of Analysys Mason's world-leading research team in their work with African clients.
"Analysys Mason is excited to be building on over 15 years of experience in Africa by establishing a permanent presence on the continent," added the company's CEO Bram Moerman. "In that time our work for operators, regulators and investors across Africa has become increasingly important to us, and we look forward to the next decade of challenge and innovation that Africa has always delivered."
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