As we continue along the path to a Digital Africa, ICT service providers, government agencies and large enterprises which use ICT because it improves efficiency, effectiveness and service delivery, need to constantly evolve their networks, infrastructures and services in line with three key themes:
Access – people access ICTs across numerous devices and via a variety of mediums from laptops, desk tops, thin clients, tablets, smart phonesand feature phones, GSM to WiFi, LTE to Fibre, Satellite to Cloud and with 5G on the horizon. Ease of access drives adoption but quality of service, price, security and reliability are equally important factors. Whilst all access is good, some is better in one environment where the opposite is true somewhere else. A flexible approach, applying the right solution to the right environment to achieve a specific objective will yield the best results for both service provider and client. With an ever changing technology landscape and evolving client objectives, one must keep a finger on the pulse and be ready to adapt to change when change is called for.
Engage – once people are connected and online, it is technology’s job to make their lives more efficient, more enjoyable, more enriching and more productive. We are faced with a rich array of platforms, applications, cloud services, outsourced services, over the top services, websites, billing systems, CRM systems, ERP systems, CEM systems, work flow systems, education platforms, trade platforms and of course social media and entertainment channels. We must be clear on objectives in order to adopt the solutions and services that support specific objectives. We see a lot of consolidation as competition drives innovation and necessity drives invention. Over-investment in under-utilised technology has been a costly theme which many large enterprises would like to avoid repeating. In an age of austerity and specialisation, we must find the right solution to meet a specific objective without paying for unnecessary features. With many cloud and capex free solutions available in the market, we can adopt scalable solutions that address current objectives with scope for future growth and development.
Retain – Quality of Service, Client Experience and Client Lifetime Value are key phrases but very few organisations can measure their effectiveness in these areas. Employee engagement is essential to well-being and a healthy, efficient workforce. Effective communication across the supply chain is critical to cost savings and the efficient delivery of services. Whether you are a communication service provider, large enterprise or a government agency, you need to retain good people. Understanding your data, analysing your metrics and engaging directly with your clients are essential elements of the process.
Studies have shown time and again, retention is much more efficient than acquisition!
Improving access, engagement and retention drives adoption of ICT with the associated improvements in socio-economic development, education, healthcare, development of BPO/ service based industries, global trade, inward investment and a wealth of other benefits on a national level. IAD 2018 will once again bring Africa’s top policy makers, regulators, service providers and large enterprises together to discuss the challenges and co-create the opportunities.
Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the world’s leading provider of satellite broadband solutions and services delivering innovative network technologies and managed services to enterprises and governments globally. Hughes maintains approximately 50 percent share of the VSAT market. Hughes owns and operates service businesses in the U.S., Europe, India, and Brazil, delivering continent-wide Hughes broadband satellite and terrestrial connectivity. HughesNet® is the #1 consumer high-speed satellite Internet service in the marketplace with active users now numbering over one million in North America, making Hughes the largest provider of high-speed satellite Internet access. Around the globe, Hughes supplies authorized service providers, government organizations, and businesses with advanced broadband systems and terminals. Hughes JUPITER™ High Throughput System (HTS) is the leading choice to power broadband services by HTS operators around the world. Hughes designs and manufactures products including satellite Network Operations Centers (NOCs) and gateways; broadband satellite terminals; and mobile satellite network infrastructure, handhelds and high-speed IP data terminals. Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes operates sales and support offices worldwide. Hughes is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS).
China Telecom is one of the world's largest full telecommunications service providers. Its subsidiary China Telecom Global Limited is responsible for the international business development through its global network platform, offering world-class integrated communications services to telecommunications service providers, MNCs and overseas Chinese. China Telecom (Africa and Middle East) Limited, as the regional headquarters in the Africa and Middle East (MEA) region, has dedicated significant resources to expand its network capabilities to maintain a consistently high level of service and improved accessibility, as well as the SMART and ICT solutions to boost the city & economy development in MEA.
NuRAN Wireless, with its wholly owned subsidiary Nutaq Innovation, is a leading supplier of mobile and broadband wireless solutions. Its innovative GSM, LTE, and White Space radio access network (RAN) and backhaul products dramatically drop the total cost of ownership, thereby creating new opportunities for mobile network operators and internet service providers. The Company provides a variety of specialist systems for indoor coverage, rural and urban connectivity in emerging markets, connectivity to offshore platforms and ships, and for emergency and crisis communications.
NuRAN is a member of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) initiated by Facebook. The Company is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and distributor of Connect-1 SDR, OpenCellular’s first open source platform. NuRAN was also retained by Facebook for the development of the front-end section of the LTE version of the Connect-1 base station.
World Telecom Labs is a leader in the provision of VoIP & SMS switches and Small-Cell solutions with a large installed base in 30+ countries in Africa.
• Rural Telephony– GSM coverage, voice & data for remote sites. Includes cloud-based billing
• VoIP to TDM E1 and STM-1 backbone switches
• High density Multi-Service SBC with integral Pre-Paid, IVR & Billing.
• SMS Hub High Performance, Cost Effective SMS Hub platform with SMPP & SS7
• Bandwidth cost saving Instant ROI, cuts IP bandwidth for VoIP traffic by 70% - compatible with satellite or fibre networks
As the major STM-1 Switch supplier to the Nigerian IXC market, handling around 5 billion minutes of Nigerian national traffic per annum, WTL has built a well-deserved reputation for providing solutions which are innovative, practical and cost-effective to operators in more than 32 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America. In addition to its portfolio for rural connectivity, WTL is a key VoIP player in emerging and established markets. Its award-winning range of VoIP and hybrid VoIP/TDM switches have been specifically designed to replace the huge, expensive, maintenance-heavy switches that have traditionally been used to transfer VoIP traffic onto other networks.
YahClick is Yahsat’s high-speed satellite broadband service, and is the leading satellite broadband Ka-band service across the Middle East, Africa, Central and South West Asia.
YahClick’s footprint, which includes Pakistan, covers 28 countries and delivers satellite broadband to a wide range of sectors, including NGOs, government, finance and IT.
YahClick’s connections are more reliable and much faster than traditional internet technologies, and bypass fixed line infrastructure, resulting in easier deployment. Above all, YahClick provides coverage over vast regions, irrespective of population density or remoteness.