Hundreds of Free Fully Accredited Data science learnerships up for grabs

Registrations open today for EXPLORE Data Science Academy’s (EDSA) 2021 intake of its 12-month fully-sponsored data science learnerships, starting January 11, 2021. For hundreds of successful...

Latest Posts

What To Expect From A Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you feel like you or someone you know is stuck or trapped in a criminal case, it’s a good idea to hire a...

Chinese Smartphone Manufacturer Oppo Sets Up Shop in South Africa

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo is investing in South Africa with local head office and a commitment to making world-leading innovations more accessible. Oppo is the...

SA’s Digital Heritage: Keeping Us Globally Relevant

South Africa’s heritage is not just physical. It is intimately part of the digital world. Digital connectively can enhance the value of that heritage,...

How is Huawei Powering Digital Inclusion with Technology in Africa?

Huawei believes that no one should be left behind in the digital world, so the Chinese telecoms giant developed TECH4ALL. TECH4ALL is a long-term, digital...

What’s the future of the cellular industry

 

 

When cellular services first hit the South African market 21 years ago, it was all about chasing new connections. The race was on to sign up as many subscribers as possible. Today, that race is run and the telecommunications industry, if it wants a future, has to look at innovating its brands as never before. What could that look like on the mobile landscape? By Eleanor Potter, consumer executive at Altech Autopage.


Today, it’s all about understanding what the customer wants and adapting accordingly – before they go somewhere else. The name of the game is diversifying revenue streams and products that use data.

Modern technology has opened the doors that telecoms in South Africa needs in order to grow. Worldwide telecoms operators don’t only do mobile and ICT – they offer video on demand, drop boxes, mail boxes, websites – a whole palette of technology solutions on their web pages.

Virtual smartphone
Virtual smartphone

Another golden opportunity is digital wallet services, such as eWallet, which offer the user a completely secure way of transferring money to anyone else who has the same service, as well as buying electricity, travel vouchers and so much more. “With a banking system among the most advanced in the world available in South Africa and many people being without fixed bank accounts, this is a massive market for telecoms,” adds Potter.

A recent example of the clever use of mobile technology saw Google Maps teaming up with WeChat, a popular online radio show, and a telecoms provider, with the aim of offering work to unemployed people. Participants had to answer an ad on the radio show’s website, where they could also check out which areas needed geocoding (conversion of conventional physical addresses into geographical coordinates). They then hit the road armed only with their mobile phone camera. No skills were required, just a mobile device loaded with data and a mobile digital wallet into which their pay was transferred when the job was done. This all, of course, also generated income for the telecoms provider who sold the data.

Just a quick look at one of several overseas telecoms providers’ websites will show a wide range of offerings, from the usual phones, tablets and gadgets to television/video, home security and vehicle tracking to name just a few. And then there are the loyalty programmes that even allow you to book airline tickets, generating a path of business that ultimately sees the mobile operator getting back a percentage.

If telecoms operators don’t start to diversify their revenue streams, they are simply a ‘dumb pipe’ (an industry term for an operator’s network only used to transfer bytes between the customer’s device and the internet).

In order to make sure customers use more data, you have to look at providing services like Netflix, which means you hire a movie and download it through your telecoms provider. This means buying a lot more data. Then, there’s online security and camera services, where you can put cameras into your home or offices and connected to your mobile device to give you 24/7 viewing, as well as vehicle tracking devices that require SIM cards. These all use enormous amounts of data and should be offered as data bundles.

The problem for most South Africans, however, is the lack of infrastructure supporting high-speed internet, as well as the provision of fibre. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area or a complex that’s had fibre laid or built in from scratch, the world of connectivity is your oyster.

New housing developments, such as golfing estates with up to 1 000 residents, not only lay fibre before building, they also offer residents little choice when it comes to using it. From allowing guests entry through codes sent to their mobiles to booking golf tee-off times, dining at the clubhouse, shopping and accessing Wi-Fi, everything is done through the housing development’s own portal, linked to a telecoms supplier.

There are so many innovative ways of utilising the telecoms industry’s infrastructure. The days of chasing new connections are over. It’s about being smart in a constructive way.

Email TechFinancials.co.za at editor@techfinancials.co.za

Latest Posts

What To Expect From A Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you feel like you or someone you know is stuck or trapped in a criminal case, it’s a good idea to hire a...

Chinese Smartphone Manufacturer Oppo Sets Up Shop in South Africa

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo is investing in South Africa with local head office and a commitment to making world-leading innovations more accessible. Oppo is the...

SA’s Digital Heritage: Keeping Us Globally Relevant

South Africa’s heritage is not just physical. It is intimately part of the digital world. Digital connectively can enhance the value of that heritage,...

How is Huawei Powering Digital Inclusion with Technology in Africa?

Huawei believes that no one should be left behind in the digital world, so the Chinese telecoms giant developed TECH4ALL. TECH4ALL is a long-term, digital...

Don't Miss

Enjoy a Revitalizing Weekend Away With The Whole Family at Knorhoek

Wide-open spaces are a great place to decompress after months of lockdown, and Knorhoek ticks all the boxes for the perfect country escape. Situated in...

Getting Smart With Gadget Shopping During An Extended Quarantine

Staying quarantined for a prolonged period is the last thing that anyone would want to do. But there’s hardly a choice for people amid...

Avon Disrupts the Norms to Create Addictive, Rebellious & Fierce “Far Away Rebel & Diva”

Avon breaks all the rules with Far Away Rebel & Diva. The new launch is the next step in the glamorous bold journey of...

Investec Says Union Must Seek Answers For Phantom Shares from Cell C

Investec has told the Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) to direct its questions about the Believe Phantom Option Share Scheme for Cell C workers to the...

Union Asks If Blue Label Telecoms Is Using Cell C as a ‘Piggy Bank’

The Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU) wants Blue Label Telecoms to explain how the JSE-listed company can zero rate its stake in Cell C...

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.