Latest Technology sector features from across Africa.

Latest Technology Corporate Stories


Dynamic Tariffing™ Systems An insight into Digitata and their Dynamic Tariffing™ System success Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Nick Norris Digitata Limited boasts a strong mobile telecommunications and revenue management background. Set up in 2008 with the specific purpose of implementing a Dynamic Tariffing™ System (DTS), Digitata has seen revenue double in the past three years. The business is made up of a team dispersed across South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and their headquarters in Mauritius. Africa Outlook spoke to CEO Ted Bartlett and his CTO Tim Fourie to gain a better grasp of the company's ethos. Since its inception, Digitata has worked closely with African mobile giant MTN. Digitata was also selected by Ericsson AB, a leading provider of telecommunications solutions globally, to provide core technology for Ericsson's Dynamic Discount Solution (DDS). Mr Bartlett states: "We continue to work closely with Ericsson, to extend our customer reach, but increasingly operators are sourcing from the company directly, rather than going through partner channels or larger organisations." Remarkably, Digitata has only 28 members of staff across all countries of operation. "Our core business is to understand operators and their revenue, how consumers respond to pricing, and what needs to be done to apply a yield optimisation tool to the telecoms markets. with our expertise focussed on these factors, we do very little in the way of administration." Digitata outsources other services including second and third line support, software development and code level fixes to their partner company, Rorotika technologies. Mr. Bartlett stresses: "Our business is

Tecno Group

Smart phones, smarter business Tecno Telecom Limited are bridging the gap between affordability and quality Writer Matt Bone Project manager Donovan Smith Tecno Telecom Limited, established in July 2006 in Hong Kong, is a comprehensive mobile phone manufacturer specializing in R&D and Smartphone manufacturing. In 2008, Tecno decided to focus on Africa as its key market and accordingly launched Tecno Brand Strategy. Through three years of efforts, Tecno has achieved initial success with its outstanding and unique marketing strategy, and has now become one of the most popular mobile phone brands in many countries within Africa. As of 2010, Tecno has become one of the top three mobile phone brands in Africa. Arif Chowdhury, Vice President, believes the key to becoming a top three provider in such a fiercely competitive market is due to Tecno understanding customer needs: "The key reason we are successful is because of our close focus on Africa's market; we may be a global company, but we act locally. In the Africa market, we try to provide what they are looking for, what they wanted and need rather than keep pushing the only models we had. It's more about understanding the need of the market and providing a product that makes customers feel like it is made for them." Long Term Approach With Smartphones becoming the industry standard, more and more people who previously would not have opted to buy one, have begun to see them as not only a must have, but a communication medium that is currently unrivalled. Chowdhury has

Airtel Kenya : Kenya’s Champion for Communications Coverage

Airtel Kenya aims to connect communities across Kenya by providing affordable, relevant and innovative mobile solutions to all.

Airtel Sierra Leone : Connecting Sierra Leone

We talk to the Managing Director of Airtel Sierra Leone, who tells us more about the telecoms giant and meeting demand for data services.

Helios Towers Nigeria

Towering above the rest Helios Towers Nigeria provides fully-managed tower sites for the telecoms industry in Nigeria. We spoke to CEO Inder Bajaj about keeping Nigeria connected. Writer Hannah Eiseman-Reynard Project manager Donovan Smith Helios Towers Nigeria puts up and maintains telecoms towers for the telecoms industry, providing an impressive guaranteed 99.99 percent uptime to clients, despite an average of just two hours grid time per day. Founded in 2006, this Nigeria-based company builds, manages and rents tower infrastructure structures to mobile network operators (MNOs) and internet service providers (ISPs) to host their antennas, base stations and transmission equipment. Helios Towers Nigeria's management of towers includes security, the supply of power, batteries, air-conditioned equipment shelters and rectifiers, as well as on-site support in the event of any problems to ensure the guaranteed uptime. Clients – telecoms companies – use the towers on a rental and lease basis and Helios Towers Nigeria has achieved an impressive average 2.8 clients per tower referred to as Colo Ratio. "Essentially we are a telecoms infrastructure company and we invest in and manage our own infrastructure," says CEO Inder Bajaj. Helios Towers Nigeria commenced operations in 2006 and is the oldest and largest independent tower company in the country. Key customers include global system for mobile (GSM) companies MTN, Airtel and EMTS. The sector is growing and moving fast. "Nigeria has around 25,000 towers and the number is growing by three to four thousand every year," Mr Bajaj says. Helios Towers Nigeria owns and runs around 1,300 and is putting up


Q&A: Safaricom Safaricom is one of the leading integrated communications companies in Africa with over 17 million subscribers, as well as sponsoring concerts, sporting events and not to mention the Safaricom Foundation which is ten years old this year. It is also expanding into financial services to aid financial inclusion and when you're already the biggest mobile network operator in Kenya, there's only one way to grow: outwards. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore tells us more. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Donovan Smith Give me a brief introduction to Safaricom? Safaricom started off as a department of Kenya Posts & Telecommunications Corporation, the former monopoly operator, which was a government parastatal. Safaricom Limited was officially launched in October 2000 and was converted into a public company with limited liability. Vodafone plc held 40 percent of the company's share. By virtue of the 60 percent shareholding held by the Government of Kenya (GoK), Safaricom was a state corporation. Until 20 December 2007, the GoK shares were held by Telkom Kenya Limited ("TKL"), which was a state corporation. Following the offer and sale of 25 percent of the issued shares in Safaricom held by the GoK to the public in March 2008, the GoK ceased to have a controlling interest in Safaricom. How is that ownership structure advantageous? Through the partnership with Vodafone we have access to best in class processes, practices and technology. We also benefit from economies of scale enjoyed by Vodafone group of companies. Your position in the market is a strong one – 66 percent

Airtel Sierra Leone : Connecting Sierra Leone

We talk to the Managing Director of Airtel Sierra Leone, who tells us more about the telecoms giant and meeting demand for data services.

Airtel Tanzania : Pushing for More

Airtel Tanzania has slashed tariff costs, making it easier than ever for Tanzanians to communicate at the most competitive rates.

Airtel Uganda : Airtel goes for Leadership in Uganda

After acquiring the operations of Warid Telecom Uganda, Airtel Uganda is now hot on the heels of market leader MTN.

Airtel Nigeria : Taking a Megabyte out of the Competition

Airtel Nigeria is redefining the data experience and is reaping the rewards – including a 92 percent increase in its internet customer base.