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Mobile Phones As a Communication Platform in Africa: 

Mobile Phones As a Communication Platform in Africa Joseph Ogutu Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Safaricom Ltd


Source: Nokia at 3GSM Cannes, February 2005 Mobile phone subscriptions globally, millions Towards the 3 billion milestone Mobile Phone Usage; A Great Future


Africa = 88.4 m subscribers Source: 'Informa Telecoms & Media's World Cellular Information Service World Cellular Subscribers; March 2005 Africa second to last in percentage representation; after Middle East


Cellular Penetration; 2006 (3rd Qtr) Sources: Global Insight & 'Informa Telecoms & Media's World Cellular Information Service

Subscriber Growth in Africa; 1998-2006: 

Subscriber Growth in Africa; 1998-2006 Source: 'Informa Telecoms & Media's World Cellular Information Service Growth is still strong Cellular Connections (millions)


Source: Summit Strategies ltd The Crossover: Mobile Overtakes Fixed Rapidly – The Kenyan Case

Leveraging the Hidden Opportunity: 

Leveraging the Hidden Opportunity Initial market projections were well below actual growth, illustrating demand, based on a paradigm shift in communications needs.

Leveraging the Untapped Opportunity: 

1. Introduction of Mobile Technology was embraced by Customers as it offered a service that addressed Customer daily communication needs, and is: affordable easily accessible easy to use 2. The mobile industry continues to fill a communication vacuum and at a substantially reduced cost (whether in transport, time, etc) Question: Is this Growth Sustainable? The Mobile Phone – Could it become the ubiquitous supplier to communication needs? The untapped opportunity still exists at the lower economic group level –The strategy remains to continue our participation in activities to reduce the cost of use, and facilitate the acquisition of lower income bracket subscribers Leveraging the Untapped Opportunity


Availability Optimistic Future Growth Driven by Cellular Industry Source: Summit Strategies

Driving Growth into the New Frontiers The Rural Areas: 

Driving Growth into the New Frontiers The Rural Areas


The Mobile Cellular is the technology of choice to address the opportunity in rural areas. Safaricom’s experience is that Rural/remote areas represent a huge potential. Safaricom recognizes Rural areas as the next growth frontier. Opportunity in Rural/Remote Areas


Cellular based data to be the catalyst for that growth and piloting sites in; Education Institutions SMEs Hospitals Government Institutions Etc. Education Opportunity: Flagship For Growth

Technological Development: 

Technological Development Launch of 2G network to facilitate the provision of Voice based services and limited data via SMS platform. This also enabled the provision of international roaming services. Upgrading of network to 2.5G to provide data services via GPRS, including GPRS Roaming services. In order to meet demand for faster data speeds, the network has been upgraded to 2.75 EDGE. Safaricom is currently carrying out 3G/UMTS-HSDPA trials within selected areas in Nairobi for the next one year.


The mobile device is seen as the communication tool of choice and because of its ubiquity a lot of services are being planned around it-internet; video on demand; mobile TV; financial transactions; security and information. Mobile services have stimulated business within the SME sector by affording opportunity for communications within the Jua Kali sector. Mobile services have contributed to less travel by users making it easy to plan movements, and hence minimising costs. A study carried out in Tanzania and South Africa found that 67% of users said that the mobile had reduced travel time. Impact of Mobile Telecommunications


Mobile services improve access to information such as prices, quantity and quality of products traded. Business executives, consultants, journalists and other professionals are able to access critical information from their office database using mobile services literally from anywhere in the world. Mobile has assisted in the fight against crime and enabled rapid response in circumstances of disaster and insecurity. Mobile services are facilitating banking services and will soon be used to reach the unbanked. With the introduction of multimedia messaging it is possible to instantly send video clips and photographs using the mobile devices Impact of Mobile telecommunications (Cont…)


The mobile service has changed lifestyles and the way we do business. Perhaps the most significant socio-economic impact of mobile phones has been in the way they have changed lives and circumstances of rural populations. Unemployment and underemployment has suddenly changed to self employment and entrepreneurship. From a mobile operator’s perspective, giving people hope and an opportunity to make a difference in their lives is what motivates us to continue investing in the expansion of our network. Conclusion

Thank You : 

Thank You

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