The development of mobile telecommunications in Africa is one of the most rapid in history of the industry. Even now mobile penetration continues to grow at 26% rate with 500 million people already having a mobile device. With such a huge numbers one may think that launching a service there is a certain success. However, they are essentially different views on the situation.
One of the biggest phenomena on the continent is mobile money. No other place embraced this way of dealing with money so eagerly. The big part of its success is support of the government which promotes cashless economy. It is said to be the most popular type of mobile service on the continent. That’s why many developers make statements like “banks must prepare for possible explosion” meaning increasing customers growth which combines with banks encouraging to use mobile services. For example, the Central Bank of Nigeria has a policy of driving financial inclusion and many other banks are now partnering with mobile carriers.
Quite opposite mood is presented in the new study “Connecting Africa: The Next 10 Years of Mobile Growth” by Booz & Company. It states that “seasoned investors are taking an increasingly hard look at further investments in Africa because of extreme pricing pressure, an increasingly unattractive investment environment, and continued regulatory risk”. One thing especially to note here, is that mobile carriers require US$25 billion in investment to build its next-generation, Internet-ready networks.
As a company who closely cooperates both with mobile service providers and operators, the notion that internet-ready networks can drive the industry forward is somewhat of a strange one. If anything, 3G was an unprofitable venture which now takes more and more money from carriers. They can’t take money from mobile services now as people simply consume services in the internet. This internet costs nothing to subscribers and simply can’t return the money which was invested in 3G.
We are pretty sure that the market in Africa will only grow, even without 3G networks and complicated services. Global USSD platform for service providers and Cloud Mobilizer for mobile carriers, two solutions designed by Eyeline.Mobi makes both parties receive profit from using USSD based services which can be available on any mobile phone in the world. This is especially important for the developing world, where smartphones don’t dominate the market.
If you want easily create a mobile service and launch it in any country in the world, consider Global USSD. Now you have opportunity to launch services with local numbers or even toll-free number. For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.