Although Africa is the second largest and most populous continent, after Asia, it remains the world’s poorest and most under-developed, with few developed economies. This has impacted on the development of technologies such as communications. With little or no terrestrial communications infrastructure in many African countries, they have moved straight to mobile.
"As a result, between 2003-2008 mobile usage shot up from 5% to over 30%, with Africa taking the global lead in the shift from fixed to mobile telephony. Today, access to mobile networks is up to 60% (from just 25% in 2000) and mobile subscriptions are now more evenly distributed across countries than five years ago." Andrew Dalglish,
Telecommunication costs are one of the most significant, yet least transparent, areas of corporate expenditure and the survey confirmed African businesses have yet to put in place effective enterprise-wide strategies for managing these costs. When asked about the level of importance they attach to visibility, management and control of their telecommunications:
- 57% of African corporates confirmed managing costs was a high priority
- 53% confirmed that streamlining telecommunications management was a high priority
- 69% would prefer to rationalise to a single telecoms provider
- 56% expected to increase their global spend on telecoms over the next 12 months
- 56% see the use of mobile devices on insecure networks as a significant concern
- 50% were unable to remotely erase data stored on a lost or stolen device
The full survey, which can be downloaded below, identified several key business concerns that can be answered by Vodafone Global Enterprise solutions.
Vodafone Global Enterprises’ Master Services Agreement (MSA), for example, removes at a stroke the need for country-by-country negotiation and puts in place a range of managed services to ensure the necessary visibility of communications costs, management, control and security. All this is underpinned by a standard set of terms and conditions for all the organisation’s voice and data services.
As the survey indicates, the more forward-looking MNCs in Africa are already accessing best practice solutions which can deliver the cost control, flexibility and security they need for communications to become an enabler, rather than an inhibitor, to the successful development of the broader enterprise.