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WhatsApp, Viber, Omo and Facebook Messenger are hurting Mobile revenue growth in Africa

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mardi, 18 juillet 2017 18:00

WhatsApp, Viber, Omo and Facebook Messenger are hurting Mobile revenue growth in Africa Featured

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Mobile revenue growth has declined in sub- Saharan Africa since 2013 and is expected to continue its downward trend until the end of the decade—despite a fast-growing subscriber base.

Much of the drop has been attributed to the use of over-the-top (OTT) messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. With more subscribers showing a preference to chat and and make voice calls via these platforms, there’s an “increasing cannibalization of traditional voice and messaging revenues,” according to a new Mobile Economy report by the GSM Association (GSMA) trade organization.

Unlike in more advanced markets, phone operators in sub-Saharan Africa are still investing in adding voice users which along with SMS text messages drives the majority of revenue. The region is expected to add another 100 million subscribers in the next three years. This is all happening as smartphone penetration and mobile-data networks also grow—and with more users starting to use apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and Skype.

Mobile revenue growth has declined in Sub-Saharan Africa



At stake for Africa’s telcos is the significant capital investment made to build out mobile networks. The industry is expected to spend around $31 billion to expand across sub-Saharan Africa over the next four years, says GSMA.

Telco executives argue that to see a return on that investment, voice and SMS revenue growth will need to match or outperform previous years. “You can’t adjust your costs for building the same quality of network,” a senior executive at one of Nigeria’s main telcos told Quartz, referring to a problem of “voice transference” as more Nigerians use WhatsApp in particular.

Services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have been subject of debates by local mobile operators and regulators. Last year, Nigeria’s telecoms regulator claimed that amid diminishing revenues, OTT services overwhelm local operators’ networks and leave them with little incentive to invest and improve broadband capability. South African operators also have complained about OTT services freeloading on their networks.

“They don’t pay taxes, don’t develop infrastructure, they don’t even open offices and create jobs. They are undermining our industry.” complained a senior executive at one of South Africa’s largest mobile operators, who asked not to be identified as he did not have permission to speak publicly on the topic.

More 4G networks are being launched in Sub-Saharan Africa



Local regulators keen to be seen as supportive of digital platforms favored by young people also do not want to discourage investors—or harm tax revenue—by ignoring the complaints of the phone companies.

“The government is trying to protect their licensees,” said the Nigerian executive, who also did not have permission to speak publicly. “They’ve been trying to understand the impact to their licensees and asked us (telcos) if WhatsApp should be blocked because they cannot be regulated or taxed. But we’ve said no. They’re rendering a service.”

There are increasingly concerns that the current live-and-let-live attitude might need to change. Last year Zimbabwe’s regulator rejected overtures by local operators to stifle OTT services. Ghana towed the same path by ruling out regulating OTT services, with the government saying it will focus on boosting technology rather than restricting it.


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Read 1185 times Last modified on mardi, 18 juillet 2017 18:26
ERIC  K.  ALOVOR

L`Afrique, le continent noir, mère des continents, est constamment en proie à des difficultés socio-économiques et politiques qui, à bien des égards, transforment ses fils et filles, chez eux, sur leur propre terre natale, en parias et en êtres bannis ou, en terre lointaine d’asile, en citoyens acculturés et de seconde zone.

L’exil est devenu pour nos peuples, surtout les jeunes, une source nourricière potentielle et un choix de survie. Ce paradoxe crée une frustration qui érode l`Afrique et tend à faire de ses processus de démocratie naissante un Mal plutôt qu’un Bien.

Que ferions-nous d’autres et que nous resterait-il de tant d’années d’efforts et de sacrifices, si nous venions à nous égarer définitivement. De la voie de la démocratie ?

Face à cette question existentielle qui nous interpelle tous, notre compatriote Kodjo EPOU tire la sonnette d’alarme et cite : « La démocratie est loin d’être parfaite mais elle demeure le moins mauvais des systèmes » Nous avons plus intérêt à œuvrer pour l’enraciner dans nos mœurs que de la renier en collaborant, contre gains faciles et immédiats, à tout ce qui est sa négation. De nos jours, la Démocratie est un système incontournable. Au point que toute tentative de l’étouffer se révèlera, tôt ou tard, inopérante.

L’initiative de créer Fmliberte répond à cet esprit. Notre mission se projette dans cette perspective. Elle vise donc à consolider chaque jour un peu plus la démocratie dont le nerf est la parole. Ainsi, sur les ondes de Fmliberte, La radio de la Diaspora, il n’existe pas de propos tabou, à l’exception de ceux qui sont dans l’ordre d’attentats à la pudeur, d’attaques personnelles ou de fausses informations. L'idée de rassembler les africains autant que nous le pouvons constitue la trame de nos émissions. Elle n’exclut nullement les critiques, même les plus acerbes, mais elle impose le respect de l'autre dans sa dignité humaine.

Nous restons convaincus que notre investissement en temps et en matériel ne sera pas vain; que les Communautés africaines de l’étranger et l’ensemble de la diaspora africaine apprécieront nos efforts à leur juste valeur. Notre ardent souhait est que Fmliberte, cet outil majeur de communication et de rapprochement soit un véritable tremplin de la Démocratie sur le beau Continent.La vocation de Fmliberte tient en trois mots:

Divertir. Informer. Rassembler.

FM Liberte, l’autre Son de Cloche

Bonne écoute!!

Le Président/Administrateur
Eric K. ALOVOR

www.fmliberte.com

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