The 2014 opening session to kick off the 17th Annual AfricaCom conference on 11 November 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), is set to deliver thought provoking debate.
Launches, acquisitions, growth, partnerships, broadband, new technologies and services and how to monetize digital platforms: Africa's digital market is moving by leaps and bounds, and showing the world how innovation is done. This is the underlying premise of the AfricaCom 2014 Keynote sessions entitled: 'Vision for Africa' which will present a snapshot of the most current trends in the market, and discuss the benefits for customers and industry stakeholders alike.
Africa's digital market is driven by broadband developments, which enable better services to consumers, new opportunities for all stakeholders and further growth for Africa's economies. The key questions are how to deliver broadband access to consumers across the continent (what technologies, on what devices), how it can be in a way that is affordable to African users, and how stakeholders can generate revenues from the investment.
Opening keynote panel
The opening keynote panel at AfricaCom will look at how strategic partnerships affect services to users and investments from stakeholders: the complicated relations between telecom operators and OTT (over the top) providers. The panel will be composed of some of Africa's leading operators (Millicom, Airtel, MTN, Orange), joined by two of the most world's significant OTT players: Facebook and Twitter. The operator/OTT debate has raged for the past few years and took a new turn earlier this year with the growth of voice-based OTT brands and new partnership models developed by operators in Africa.
A panel on broadband developments will cover the investments and initiatives needed to improve broadband access across the continent, with contributions from pan-African players Orange, Intelsat, Convergence Partners, Liquid Telecom and China ComServices. Mobile broadband being the main way Africans access the internet, LTE services will be covered with contributions from large operators Vodacom, Smile and Unitel Angola as well as smaller newcomers Surfline and YooMee. The role of handsets and devices will be debated by representatives of major operators (Millicom, Airtel) as well as a handset manufacturer (Tecno) and OS provider Mozilla.
New revenue streams
Finally, new revenue streams will be discussed, with a major new topic introduced to the AfricaCom keynotes M2M & IoT, with a keynote presentation from BMW on its ConnectedCAr and a panel including Orange, Vodacom, Google and the Praekelt Foundation.
Content being a key revenue stream in Africa, a panel will look at how to monetise content services, with contributions from operators Vodacom and Airtel, content providers eTV and Ole! Media Group, one of the continent's fastest growing digital powerhouses and OTT player Yahoo.
For more, view the speaker lineup
and the agenda