Kenya: Two Companies Get to Grips With the New Business Model

Speaking for myself, I believe the best bet for many parts of Africa will be with both wireless Internet as well as mobile handsets in general.

“The steady fall in the value of voice as the central revenue stream of the telecoms business is beginning to impact on the sector in Africa. The clock’s also ticking on the end of rapid mobile subscriber growth in many African countries. With wider competition and the introduction of VoIP removing the protection from international call revenues, traditional telcos at last are beginning to think about re-shaping themselves. The rise of broadband and cheaper wireless delivery are tempting the previously sceptical to consider bold moves towards triple play or even quad play (that’s the one with mobile thrown in).

Some of those seizing the new business model are old-fashioned telcos seeking to re-invent themselves in ways that will make a break with their inglorious past. Others are new entrants seeking to find a significant market share that they can hold and defend. In this week’s Top Story Russell Southwood looks at two Kenyan companies that are going through this process.”

With the arrival of unified licences in several countries on the continent, there is now more space for everyone to be doing everything. But the central business dilemma remains. Can a mobile company become a vertical player across every different market? An ISP? A fixed wireless player? If they do this successfully, then will they have simply become vertically-integrated players like the much despised incumbent telcos? In insecure markets, the powerful look to establish unassailable positions for themselves as dominant market players…. Source: