Investing in Africa tip nine: Expect market consolidation

It is inevitable that the African market will go through a period of consolidation. Governments have distributed new mobile licenses liberally and profited as a result. So too have the consumers in most markets. Competition has led to a greater choice of provider and lower pricing, although not necessarily high quality.

Investing in Africa tip eight: Build a distinct brand

Mobile operators in Africa are fortunate. Unlike in some of the world’s more developed markets, trust and familiarity are associated with many operators. The very fact that in many cases the mobile handset has empowered individuals means that mobile consumers often have a great affinity with the mobile operator brand.

Investing in Africa tip seven: Provide the most relevant content

In a marketplace in which operators are not just fighting for a share of a user’s communications wallet but for a share of that user’s entire spend, it is important that a new operator is able to offer something directly relevant to the addressable market.

Investing in Africa tip six: Build on potential of WiMAX

Globally the prospects for WiMAX may have dimmed somewhat in the past couple of years, partly as a result of the strong growth of HSPA, which is often seen as a rival to WiMAX, and partly as a result of a lost appetite for network spending. But Africa still offers WiMAX technology a home.

Investing in Africa tip five: Maximise mobile data potential

There is substantial opportunity for growth in mobile data services in Africa. Demand for data services is great and the arrival of new undersea cables should remove some of the bottleneck created by Africa’s lack of international connectivity. The fact is that this demand will be met mainly by wireless rather than wireline connections.

How Bharti will tackle Africa’s challenges

Emerging markets giant Zain has announced the $10.7bn sale of its African operations to Indian carrier Bharti Airtel, in a landmark deal that could transform Africa’s competitive landscape. In this video Informa principal analyst Nick Jotischky discusses Bharti’s first moves in the region.

Investing in Africa tip three: Focus on operational delivery by outsourcing

As long as its partner relationships are sound, the operator should be able to focus on what a growing number of providers see as being core to operational success (customer, financial, regulatory and brand management). It is these factors that will drive strategy and ensure that pricing levels are competitive, the distribution model is robust and efficient, and that an operator’s products and service portfolio meets the needs and demands of its customers.

Monster Bharti, Zain deal confirmed

We said it was a done deal and it is. On Tuesday afternoon Zain announced the $10.7bn sale of its African operations (excluding Morocco and Sudan) to Indian carrier Bharti Airtel.

Investing in Africa tip one: Be innovative on pricing

The first in our series of tips for potential investors in the African telecoms market. Here Informa Telecoms & Media reveals that operators that employ a lean, efficient business model will be best-placed to run a profitable operation on low tariffs.

Ten tips for investing in Africa

Touted for so long as the land of opportunity for telecoms investors, Africa is on the brink of a deal that is could transform its competitive landscape. But what does the long expected deal between Bharti Airtel and Zain say about the state of the African market? That Zain does not regard Africa as profitable and that it wants to focus on its more “lucrative” MENA footprint? Or that Airtel sees such potential that it is prepared to spend almost $11bn as a means of entering this land of opportunity?

Bharti’s purchase of Zain Africa a done deal

With a deal between two emerging markets giants thought to be in the closing stages, the acquisition of Zain’s sub Saharan African assets represents a landmark deal for both Bharti Airtel and Zain, and for the African region itself.

Zain MD Saad Al Barrak resigns

Middle East and African regional operator Zain has announced that its talismanic managing director and deputy chairman Saad Al Barrak has resigned. In a brief statement the firm said that the chairman would convene the board to discuss the news.

Zain outsources East Africa to NSN

African and Middle Eastern carrier Zain streamlined its East African operations this week, with the announcement Thursday that it has awarded three network outsourcing deals to Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).

Zain, Paltel merger off

After months of courting, the proposed merger between emerging markets telecoms giant Zain and Palestinian operator Paltel is off.

Spirit of innovation driving growth in Africa

African telecoms operators have faced several challenges in 2009. The global economic downturn, a fiercely competitive landscape, and pressure to expand networks into rural areas have tested the mettle of the region’s carriers both big and small.

Dr. Saad al Barrak, chairman, Zain

The man behind one of the most remarkable growth stories of recent years, Saad al Barrak has built Zain into the dominant cellular force in the MEA region. He now boasts operations in 22 countries and a customer base approaching 65 million at the end of Q109.

Vivendi calls off talks with Zain

French conglomerate Vivendi has called off its talks with Kuwait-based Zain, over the acquisition of the operator’s African assets.