April 11, 2014
Rancard headlined as the sponsor for the Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) Forum at the West Africa Telecoms Summit held in the Movenpick Hotel, Accra on April 4, 2014. This summit was developed to highlight the needs of the West African mobile consumer, with a special focus on Nigeria as a key growth market.
Over the past 7 years, Rancard has been a visible contributor to the mobile telecommunications services sector in Sub-Saharan Africa with innovative value added services. This affirmed Rancard’s decision to sponsor the Mobile VAS Forum session at the Summit.
Ms. Amaka Okolo, Head of Services Marketing at Rancard, shared that West Africa was home to about 30% of the continent’s total mobile market, with Nigeria leading the pack. Based on data provided by Informa; in the year ending 3Q 2013, there had been an increase in Nigerian mobile data average revenue per user (ARPU) from US$0.78 to US$1.05 (+34% growth). Voice revenues experienced an attending decline from $1.86 million to $1.76 million over the same period. According to Ms. Okolo, this represents a shift of West African consumers towards mobile data-driven services driven by Over-the-Top (OTT) providers like Facebook, Whatsapp, etc.
The Forum panelists consisted of Mr. Kofi Dadzie, Managing Director of Rancard, Mr. Yomi Adegboye, CEO of Mobility and Mr. Simon Aderinlola, National Coordinating Consultant for Wireless Application Services Providers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN). Each panelist fielded questions and contributed insights to a short Q&A session that was open to the floor.
In response to questions about limited resources available to young West African developers, Mr. Adegboye encouraged the audience by telling them to use any and all means within their reach. He relates how he actively used the internet as a source of learning for his software business, even though he was schooled in a different field as an architect.
Mr. Aderinlola indicated that most VAS offerings in Nigeria revolve around entertainment, health, agriculture, education and enterprise solutions. He added that service providers are struggling to remain relevant to today’s audiences and that the addressable market size is yet massive. He highlighted that the West African VAS consumer does not want to be inundated by spam messages or intrusive, irrelevant content. They want the ability to voluntarily opt-in to a service and opt-out with ease. He also said that the consumer ‘neither wants to be robbed or feel he is being robbed’ in the way service billing and alerts are communicated. He said ‘customers desire respect, want to be listened to and be assured that they are thought about in every service offering.’
As a closing remark to the VAS providers gathered, Mr. Aderinlola said consumers have to be catered for and courteously followed by Telcos and VAS providers ‘wherever their life patterns take them’. He urged that VAS providers be fully prepared to meet the challenge of shifting consumer habits.
Rancard is a leader in social recommendations technology for mobile content and services. The rancardmobility.com cloud connects more than 70 mobile carriers including MTN, Airtel, Glo, Etisalat, Tigo, Vodafone in over 25 countries and 3 continents, and is used by brands including Google, IrokoTV, BBC, MTV, ESPN, VOA. Rancard has offices in Lagos, Accra and Mauritius and was founded in 2001 by Kofi Dadzie and Ehizogie Binitie. For more information on Rancard visit www.rancard.com
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