Vodacom Business is making selective investments in fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business(FTTH/B) in Zambia and continues to explore the best way to create a reseller model in the landlocked African country. By Staff Writer
The enterprise arm of the South African-based mobile phone operator believes that Zambia is a vibrant market with good GDP growth, relative to the current economic climate and “this presents growth opportunities for enterprise customers”.
The Zambian government’s efforts to diversify the economy and lessen its reliance on copper exports will start bearing fruit next year, as reforms and infrastructure spending begin to lift growth, according to research firm FocusEconomics.
Overall, foreign investors will face fewer risks from a trade and investment perspective in Zambia than many of the country’s regional peers, according to BMI Research, a FitchGroup company.
The research firm added that Zambia exhibits high levels of economic openness, largely due to attractive trade and investment characteristics, a favourable tax regime and low levels of red tape in relation to the completion of many bureaucratic procedures – all of which contribute to minimising potential risks to foreign investors.
Tapping on the opportunities in Zambia, Vodacom spokesperson told TechFinancials.co.za that Vodacom Business has made selective investments into FTTH/B capability in Lusaka (the capital city of Zambia) and continues to service market opportunities and needs through the infrastructure which “we have built”.
“We do not have any immediate plans to expand on this footprint,”the spokesperson said.
“We have started rolling out the network, which will be deployed to follow demand from our customers.”
When asked about plans to be a fully-fledged ICT provider with mobile capabilities, the spokesperson said that Vodacom Business is still exploring the best avenue to establish a mobile reseller model in Zambia, through leveraging existing channels.
A mobile reseller model will enable Vodacom Business in Zambia to offer a fuller package of custom-made enterprise class mobile services to businesses in the country through its enterprise mobile voice solution.
Earlier this year, Vodacom Business Nigeria partnered with Etisalat to enable the Vodafone-owned firm to provide mobile voice services to its customers.
This was a move by Vodacom Business to offer superior telecommunication services to businesses in Nigeria.
Vodacom Business in Nigeria
Vodacom Business is looking for opportunities in adjacent markets in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy.
A Vodacom spokesperson said Vodacom Business continues to grow in Nigeria, despite tough economic conditions and the pressure on the Naira.
“We believe that the Nigerian small medium enterprise (SME) segment is a sizeable market that we have not tapped in to as yet and we are reviewing models to address this,” said the spokesperson.
Vodacom Business entered the Nigerian market in 2008 through the acquisition of Gateway Communications.
Vodacom Business in Tanzania
Asked about plans for the fast-growing Tanzanian market, a Vodacom spokesperson said Vodacom Tanzania is currently focusing on growing its enterprise fixed capabilities to better service the market.
“Through building out its service portfolios, Vodacom Tanzania aims to address the market needs of all segments.”
Vodacom has mobile network operations in South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania, the DRC and Mozambique. Through Vodacom Business Africa, it also offer business managed services to enterprises in over 30 countries across the African continent.