Comptel’s FinPro Trip Looks to the Future of Telco in Indonesia

Posted: October 30th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Last week, Comptel’s CEO Juhani Hintikka and vice president of Asia-Pacific Kari Jokela visited Indonesia as part of the FinPro business delegation to discuss future economic cooperation between Finland and Indonesia. A leader in FinPro, Comptel has previously visited India, Kazakhstan and Chile, among other countries, to meet and work with those regions’ local communications service providers (CSPs) and government officials.

Juhani Hintikka, Jan Vapaavuori - Minister of Economic Affairs and Kari Jokela

Comptel has been doing business in Indonesia for more than 10 years now, and we’re excited to continue to build relationships with those in the region. The Asia-Pacific telecommunications market has tripled in size since 2003 and added one billion new connections. By the end of 2013, experts expect there to be three billion connections total. Next year, Analysys Mason predicts that Indonesia will steadily move toward deploying 4G services.

To help CSPs in the region prepare for this wave of change, Comptel aims to offer new products and services through an extended range of local partners. For example, the company recently announced that it is working with local partner Lintas Teknologi to deliver Comptel Convergent Mediation to the second largest CSP in Indonesia, Indosat. By consolidating the mediation of its entire mobile product portfolio, the operator will be able to handle billions of transactions daily, while seamlessly scaling as its business grows.

As 2013 draws to a close and Comptel looks at a new year, we couldn’t be more excited to cultivate our relationships with CSPs throughout Indonesia and Asia-Pacific, and offer them new ways of doing business that help grow their revenues, streamline their operational processes and build customer loyalty.

Want to learn more about what the telco industry is thinking about in the APAC region? Download our APAC survey below!

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There Will Be More Than One Billion Mobile Phones in Africa…What Does This Mean?

Posted: March 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World, Telecom Trends | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A lot of telecommunications analysts have turned their sights toward the Middle East and Africa. That shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that, by 2016, analysts expect there to be more than one billion phones across the continent, with 991 million being feature phones. Indeed, Cisco expects that mobile data traffic growth will be fastest in this region.

It’s a particularly exciting time to watch these developments in Africa. The continent already has some of the highest mobile money payments in the world— in Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda, there are more mobile money bank accounts than traditional bank accounts.

All of these trends point to explosive mobile use and increased connectivity in Africa as a whole. So, what’s one of the biggest changes we can expect to see here?

A new boom in African creative industries

One significant shift that was highlighted at Mobile Web East Africa by tech website MemeBurn is occurring in television and literature. Traditionally, both of these industries have suffered from lack of art-based, educational programmes in schools and from a lack of resources.

The CEO of BuniTV and Buni Media, Marie Lora-Mungai, spoke at the conference and said that having mobile access to films will revolutionise the space. She hopes that filmmakers will be able to distribute their work much further than before and create pieces for mobile consumption.

Likewise, the vice president of marketing at BiNu, Mark Shoebridge, talked about how mobile will affect reading habits. At Mobile Web East Africa, he claimed that 70% of female readers who are using World Reader, an app for smartphones, are reading over a thousand screen pages.

How this is going to affect data use in Africa

I think it’s safe to say that 991 million feature phones are going to bring about a radical change in data use in Africa. As we’ve mentioned before, changing data use doesn’t just make for a better mobile experience, the increased connectivity enriches consumers’ lives.

Of course, there’s going to be a vast range of different needs among customers in Africa. Communications service providers (CSPs) will be hard-pressed to customise service packages and personalise their interactions to accommodate these trends.

Africa is in an interesting position because of the sheer diversity of needs when it comes to data. It’s happening fast, too. Last October, for example, more Nigerians accessed the Internet on mobile phones than on desktop computers.

To really meet the demands of the next decade’s mobile customers, CSPs will have to invest heavily in contextual analytics that can segment customers based on their individual behaviours when it comes to mobile data use. This way, no matter how vast the customer base or different the use cases, it’s possible to meet individual needs and prepare for the future.


Rosario’s Growing Business

Posted: January 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

We recently shared a story about Williams in Uganda and his success working through Kiva.org. Building upon that, Comptel is eager to share another story about the difference Kiva is making on communities across the globe.

Thirty year old entrepreneur Rosario lives in eastern Peru, right along the banks of the Ucayali River, a major tributary of the Amazon River. She employs two other people at her small business in Pucallpa, which buys and sells mobile phones. Rosario loves her work, particularly because she enjoys helping customers find a mobile phone and any accessories that meet their specific requirements.

Having successfully managed her business for eight years, Rosario recently found herself needing some financial assistance in order to keep up with increasing demand. Realising what an honorable, hard worker she is, Kiva decided to loan Rosario 2,000 Peruvian Nuevos Soles (USD $775) to help keep her business afloat. Thankful for Kiva’s support, Rosario is confident that her business will continue to grow and is now optimistically looking to the future.

We invite you to take part in Comptel’s team and help us alleviate some of the financial burdens carried by such hard-working individuals who often do not have access to typical banking services.


What Can Developed Market Telcos Learn from Emerging Markets?

Posted: August 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

By: Andy Hicks, Research Manager, EMEA, Telecoms, IDC

By this point, most of us know how dramatically mobile communications have affected the emerging markets, bringing services and information to people who previously had only tenuous links to the larger world. Mobile payments have brought elementary financial capabilities to millions of people formerly dependent on cash. Newly available information on markets, agricultural practices, government services and health have also eased and enriched users’ lives. Communications service providers (CSPs) are offering discounts based on the current usage of individual base stations, stretching their customers’ money and taming network congestion.

The speed of development in emerging markets leads some commentators to proclaim that we live in an era of “reverse innovation,” where things happen first in developing markets and then are exported to mature markets. I’ve never liked that term, which both flirts with condescension and seems to ignore the fact that, from the beginning, the work that went into most of these services occurred in markets developing and developed alike. But what of the central point? Have telecoms in emerging markets produced products or practices that could improve the business of CSPs in the developed world?

At first glance, maybe not. Mobile networks in Sub-Saharan Africa can double as point of sale networks because thereias no established competition, and because regulators are willing to grant them some leeway in order to extend financial services to the unbanked masses. In the developed world, telecoms networks will never supplant the established clearinghouses. Instead, the industry is focussing on enabling Near-Field Communications (NFC), which, in turn, require a level of infrastructure rarely found in emerging markets. And probably the industry’s biggest worry—competition with over-the-top players— has been a non-issue in emerging markets, since few people can afford data subscriptions. Basic pocketbook issues have meant that in low ARPU areas, it’s a 2G revolution.

But if you break down the emerging market success stories, you start to notice that many of the best practices are found on the IT side of telecoms, whether in charging or basic service design. Here, briefly, are three lessons I think we can draw from emerging markets:

  • Compelling services are real-time services. Given the predominance of prepaid in emerging markets, it’s no surprise that real-time capabilities are so prominent. The dynamic tarriffing I referred to above relies on real-time analytics and discounts to direct users to less-trafficked cells. In developed markets, a few CSPs are experimenting with similar capabilities for their data networks, both pre- and post-paid.
  • Usability is even more important than you think. Everybody mentions Apple when they want to talk about design, but when your transport is SMS and some of your user base is illiterate, making your tasks lightweight, universal and fool proof is a necessity. Developed world users flock to well-designed functionality as well. And optimizing communication between the client and the data centre is still very much an issue in telco services.
  • Identity management is a key telco asset. If anything, it’s even more important in developed markets, where the telco has less of a natural place in payments value chains and where fraud can produce much higher damages in absolute terms. When NFC availability depends on vendors and the transaction is cleared by somebody else, the ability to certify a user is a natural capability of the CSP—until OTT players capitalize on foot-dragging to take over that function, too.

There are almost certainly others. Think of it this way: emerging market CSPs are running smart pipes over voice/SMS. Anybody in carrier IT can draw inspiration from that.

Andy Hicks covers telecom software, services, and business strategies in EMEA, with special focus on emerging markets, at IDC. Currently, he is focussing on the IT-ification of telecoms, the increasingly complex services market they compete in, and the work of multinational groups to rationalize their operations across borders.