Telecoms.com: “Tough Market Conditions Force African Operators to Innovate”
The telecoms market in West and Central Africa remains vibrant, but the message from last week’s West & Central Africa Com conference, organized in Abuja, Nigeria, by Informa Telecoms & Media, is that business is getting tougher for operators as a consequence of slowing growth rates, increasing competition and falling ARPUs, and the global economic slowdown.
According to Christian de Faria, vice president for West & Central Africa at MTN Group, the slowdown in the subregion “is still not too acute,” and the Nigerian market is still growing very fast. But there is nevertheless some evidence of a slowdown: Minutes of use, rather than subscription numbers, are falling, with airtime consumption in some countries down 10-15% year-on-year, according to de Faria. In some cases, it is also more difficult to obtain finance.