The latest Financial Mail AdForum event, in association with Ornico, will be held on August 25 at the Vega School in Johannesburg and will focus on the communications and advertising trends in the telecommunications industry on the African continent.
Ornico, Financial Mail and an expert panel will review whether consumers’ price sensitivity, together with the advent of SA’s recession on the back of recent economic downgrades, has affected the telecommunications industry’s adspend.
Telecommunications is one of the most highly competitive industries in Africa, and service providers from across the continent are in stiff competition for market share in this mobile-first audience. Given the prevalence of mobile on the continent, the degree of innovation and development within the mobile space is not surprising.
A report by GSMA entitled “The Mobile Economy: Africa 2016” reveals that mobile technologies and services generated 6.7% of GDP in 2015, which amounts to around US$150bn of economic value. It further predicts that by 2020 GDP contribution as a result of mobile technologies will increase to 7.6% of GDP, an estimated $210bn, as countries see benefits from improved productivity and efficiencies. Moreover, GSMA also reports that the mobile ecosystem supported 3.8m jobs in 2015, and predicts that this number will rise to 4.5m by 2020.
The benefits and growth of mobile technologies on the continent has brought about calls for better pricing, with the ongoing #datamustfall campaign in SA. High data and mobile communication costs slow down expansion and innovation in this sector.
So far growth in the telecommunications sector has evolved rapidly in Africa, from new phone users having to be educated about the technology to current innovations being applied in the spheres of mobile payments, banking and health systems. Mobile devices are also being used on the continent as small business tools with payment platforms such as M-Pesa and Yoco enabling on-the-go transactions.
On the other hand, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has announced that Africa’s three biggest smartphone markets – Egypt, Nigeria and SA – have experienced a decline in smartphone shipments for the first quarter of 2017. When comparing figures, the IDC states that shipment figures in the fourth quarter of 2016 were 25.8m units, which declined in the first quarter of 2017 to 21.2m units. SA was down 13.6%, Nigeria contracted by 8.1% and Egypt dropped 11.5%.