Group Director Marketing, Expresso Telecom, Africa: “LTE will become a critical enabling platform for commerce”

Asif Aziz, Group Director Marketing Products and Propositions, Expresso Telecom, Africa, is taking part in a panel discussion entitled ‘Getting Ready for LTE: Deployment Considerations’,  on Day One of the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 13th-14th May 2013 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show, Aziz gives us a few insights into the opportunities LTE presents in Africa.
What major developments have there been with regards to the LTE industry in your region this past year?

There has been some mention of an LTE roll-out. With the landing of ACE cables (African Coast to Europe) into West Africa there has been an increase of available bandwidth to operators. This will also enable development of retail propositions.

Does it make sense to think of LTE as a fixed-line replacement in certain cases?

My view is that it will be a complimentary service to strong fixed assets and in combination this will really help boost the customer experience.

Is VoLTE part of your plans and what benefits will it bring both to operators and consumers?

VoLTE is not currently part of our plans, but VoIP has arrived and is already widely used.

Pricing for LTE is a controversial subject. Are operators getting it right?

All operators are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach.  As competition arrives and the technology is passed into the hands of real customers, we will likely see a change in approach.

Do you think that LTE offers great opportunities for monetisation or does it present challenges?

I believe that LTE will become a critical enabling platform for commerce, so in that sense it will provide great opportunities. However, in the lower ARPU markets of Africa, there is a strong need to establish a business case before beginning deployments.

What do you think will be the most exciting new development in LTE in 2013?

For Africa it will certainly be the increased availability of LTE services in 2013.

The LTE MENA conference is taking place on the 13th-14th May 2013 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, UAE. Click here to find out more about the event.

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