What’s Ahead for African Telcos in 2024?

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What’s Ahead for African Telcos in 2024?
Credit: © Reuters.

Africa’s dynamic telecom sector is gearing up for a prosperous 2024, expanding operations and diversifying services to cater to an increasingly digital-savvy customer base.

Industry projections anticipate a $2.24-billion growth in the African telecom sector between 2020 and 2024, with the rollout of high-speed 5G connectivity and an expanding range of services, particularly in the financial sector, driving long-term growth.

Engaging with telecom executives across East, West, and Southern Africa, common challenges have surfaced. Telcos are striving to secure current revenue streams by enhancing visibility over their B2B partners. Simultaneously, there’s a focus on introducing customer-facing services and innovations for sustained profitability, requiring bold actions to stay ahead of emerging competitors.

Key Trends for African Telcos in 2024:

1. Digitalization Enhances B2B Visibility:

– Telco markets across Africa rely heavily on dealers and resellers, yet the lack of digitalization hampers visibility over B2B channels.

– New technology platforms can provide downstream efficiency and visibility, transforming telcos’ strategic advantage through dealer channels.

– Incentives, such as discounts, can encourage dealers to embrace digitalization, unlocking revenue opportunities.

2. Innovation Drives Improved Customer Experiences:

– Digitalization enables telcos to offer a richer suite of products and services, enhancing customer experience.

– Integration of tailored financial services, mobile money, and innovations like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) at the point of sale ensures a seamless customer experience.

– Compliance with regulatory requirements, particularly Know Your Customer (KYC), is essential for delivering new services.

3. eSIM Adoption Gains Momentum:

– The shift from feature phones to smartphones accelerates the adoption of eSIMs.

– Younger users, attracted to social media and Africa’s growing e-commerce sector, will drive eSIM growth.

– Telcos are expected to launch extensive promotional campaigns on social media to entice younger users to smartphones, enabling the delivery of a broader range of revenue-generating services.

As African telcos navigate the balance between profitability and revenue protection, embracing digitalization, fostering innovation, and capitalizing on eSIM adoption will be pivotal in ensuring sustained success in 2024 and beyond.

By Louis Avenant, Senior Project Manager at Itemate Solutions

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