Thursday, 22 February 2018

Are telcos in Africa really making a profit?

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom, in Barcelona
Thursday 28 February 13

Top executives from MTN, Bharti Airtel urge regulators not to follow the European model and stifle the African industry, nor to force consolidation through bankruptcy.

The profitability, or otherwise, of telecoms operators in Africa was a topic of hot debate earlier this week at Mobile World Congress as a couple of the industry's biggest players shared their concerns over the impact of regulatory interference and high taxes. Real mobile penetration in Africa is still probably below 50% so therefore the continent still offers strong growth potential, but ″there are also certain challenges,″ such as aggressive price competition and unclear regulatory goals, said Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO of pan-African mobile operator MTN Group. ″Whatever we do in Africa we have to avoid what is happening in Europe…

The profitability, or otherwise, of telecoms operators in Africa was a topic of hot debate earlier this week at Mobile World Congress as a couple of the industry's biggest players shared their concerns over the impact of regulatory interference and high taxes. Real mobile penetration in Africa is still probably below 50% so therefore the continent still offers strong growth potential, but ″there are also certain challenges,″ such as aggressive price competition and unclear regulatory goals, said Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO of pan-African mobile operator MTN Group. ″Whatever we do in Africa we have to avoid what is happening in Europe…

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