By Gugu Lourie
The Zambian gross domestic product remained largely unaffected by the global economic crisis and was expected to grow at about 8% per annum, according to market research.
Predictably, telcos are seeing growth opportunities in Zambia.
Vodacom Business sees growth opportunities in the enterprise information communications technology (ICT) market in the landlocked African country.
The company, which is currently operating in Zambia through an Internet service provider (ISP), is seeking ways to raise its revenue base.
Vuyani Jarana, the chief officer of Vodacom Business, wants to beef up Vodacom Business’ in Zambia in order to provide more services, but first the company requires mobile service capability to be a fully-fledged ICT provider in the landlocked country.
“So, should we think about similar model in Zambia like in Nigeria, where we have a reseller model for mobile?” asked
Jarana before answering his own question with a curt “absolutely”.
“So, we are looking at that and you must know in Zambia it is a lot more difficult, because you’ve got three players, Zamtel (incumbent fixed-line operator), and mobile operators Airtel and MTN. So you don’t have much option, so you continue to knock at every door. The view is that we have to provide a reseller model.”
But it seems as if the Zambian telcos are reluctant to partner with Vodacom Business Africa, the enterprise arm of South African telecoms group Vodacom that is owned by British mobile giant Vodafone.
In Nigeria, which has various telco players, Vodacom Business has a reseller partnership agreement with in-market mobile player Etisalat.
The deal provides Vodacom Business Nigeria with increased capability to service its corporate customers at scale and keep ahead of competition.
In 2014, Vodacom Business Nigeria signed the agreement with Etisalat enabling the firm to provide mobile services to its corporate clients.
The agreement enabled Vodacom Business Nigeria to sign Coca-Cola as the first enterprise mobile customers and also providing it with mobile services including voice, data and roaming.
The deal assisted Vodacom Business Nigeria to provide single billing for fixed and mobile services to its corporate clients.
It also allowed Vodacom Business Nigeria to extend its services and solutions, creating a larger mobile network footprint leveraging off Etisalat global network.
Vodacom Business is aiming to replicate this model in Zambia in order to be able to provide connectivity services to multinationals already in that country that want to expand their operations there such as South Africa’s Pick n Pay and Shoprite.
“There is a lot of investment that is happening in Africa; Europe and Asia is coming to Africa. All the customers are looking for is ICT as an enabler. We are well-positioned- from our side to service customers in multiple geographies,” Jarana told TechFinancials.co.za.
“We are clear that we want to be a single ICT service provider to most of our customers across Africa.”
No doubt a reseller mobile model in Zambia will assist Vodacom Business to deliver on its vision to be a fully-fledged single service provider for its corporate customers.