By Brydon Pilkington, Regional Manager, Middle East and Africa, InfoVista
Earlier this year, IDC predicted that 2013 would be the year of the smartphone and mobile app in Africa. At the 16th annual AfricaCom, which took place last week in Cape Town, it was clear that that prediction is playing out, and the continent now represents one of the most viable opportunities for mobile operators in the world. But, in order to monetize that opportunity and find success in the African market, mobile operators will need to leverage better network planning, design and optimization processes. Only with those capabilities will they be able to derive proper insight into future network demands and ensure there is adequate capacity in place to effectively serve this market — all without overspending.
This is all the more important as mobile operators deploy bigger, better, stronger networks to keep up with the growing demand for voice and data services from the African population. Because so many components of next-generation mobile networks are being deployed from the ground up, operators need to keep a close eye on where their efforts will make the biggest difference. This is where network planning, design and optimization will come in, ensuring the best possible experience for African consumers.
Effective network planning and design can also help mobile operators deploy new network technologies like small cells to aid in their quest for a high quality of service (QoS). By making full use of this innovative technology, operators will be able to ensure network coverage where it's most needed, better positioning them to meet the growing expectations and demands of their subscribers. At the same time, mobile operators will be able to minimize CAPEX and OPEX, improving return on investment and further enhancing their profitability.
It's clear that we'll be hearing more from the African market, and we at InfoVista are poised to help operators across not just the continent, but the globe, to plan, operate, optimize and monetize their networks. If you didn't get a chance to stop by our AfricaCom booth, I encourage you to leave a comment below or email me directly to discuss this topic in greater detail.