- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: Telecommunication in Africa expected to grow despite challenges
- Date: 12th November 2009
- Summary: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (NOVEMBER 11, 2009) (REUTERS) WIDE TOP VIEW PAN ACROSS AFRICA COM EXPO DELEGATES AT EXPO VARIOUS OF WOMAN OPERATING A BLACKBERRY MOBILE PHONE (3 SHOTS) VARIOUS OF MAN OPERATING A TOUCH SCREEN MOBILE PHONE (2 SHOTS) VARIOUS OF DELEGATES TYPING ON COMPUTER KEYBOARDS (3 SHOTS) DELEGATE TALKING ON MOBILE PHONE, WALKS PAST EXPO STALL AFRICA COM SIGN PROJECTED ONTO BIG SCREEN AT CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 27th November 2009 12:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Communications
- Reuters ID: LVAV4EVEVYXY9KWYJEWPMQTWJW6
- Story Text: Telecoms operators at the Africa Telecoms Conference in Cape Town on Wednesday (November 11) highlighted the difficulties of operating in the African continent but acknowledged that Africa was essential for growth.
"We have a number of challenges that we have to overcome. One is the power grid. Another one is, of course, the regulatory environment. The other you have to overcome is basically almost everything that you need to put to get to your side like the whole infrastructure you've got to develop yourself - so the cost, overheads on African operators are quite significant but besides that, we've made a success. So, Africans have been innovative and creative in finding solutions to our problems to make sure that we can have networks similar to what other modern countries have," said Themba Khumalo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at MTN in Uganda.
Khumalo also said the company, the biggest operator in Uganda, expected more customer growth in the last quarter of 2009 and was looking to work hand-in-hand with competitors to overcome the infrastructure woes faced by telecoms companies.
Africa still lags behind the rest of the world in connectivity and access to modern telecoms products but many companies are seeing this as an opportunity rather than a deterrent.
"Africa today is very important from a satellite perspective in both areas. In the broadcast side, we believe that television will be booming in the next three to seven years and the other side is the data network, the V-Sat, etc., and we feel that we are here in the right time, the right point of time to support Africa to grow to bring communication further within the countries, to bring television to each and every subscriber hub or person in Africa," said Amir Carmeli, a salesperson with Amos Spacecom Africa.
"Africa has been the big growth story in our business. We almost doubled our business on the continent last year. We are well on track to have about similar growth this year and what we are finding is that the growth of the overall market in Africa, as well as the the rest of the solutions that we offer, actually provide a compelling value proposition to our customers," said Comviva vice-president Sangeet Chowfla.
The number of mobile phone subscribers in Africa reached the late 200 millions in the first quarter of this year, surpassing North America and was expected to exceed 300 million.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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