Market needs sub-USD50 smartphones
TELECOMS| Feb. 29, 2012, 10:13 a.m.
The CEOs of Bharti Airtel, VimpelCom and Telefónica Latin America have called for the industry to drive down the cost of smartphones to trigger the greater use of mobile data.
Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sunil Mittal, chairman and MD of Bharti Airtel, said that the cost of smartphones must start to fall and come much closer to the price of feature phones seen today in India.
“The difficulty we have moving forward to the next business model is the lack of a cheap smartphone,” said Mittal. “A USD50 device would dramatically alter the landscape.” He added that the penetration of smartphones was only around 5% in India today, and much less in Africa.
Jo Lunder, CEO of VimpelCom, echoed this call, adding that ‘small screen’ devices would dominate how residents in emerging markets would access the Internet. “Mobile data will replace voice as the main revenue earner,” said the CEO. “We’ve seen smartphones drive up ARPUs by at least 10%.”
The VimpelCom CEO added that smartphone penetration in Russia had reached 10%, and that younger people were especially keen to access the Internet via a mobile device.
The market conditions are slightly different in Latin America, said the chairman and CEO of Telefónica’sLatin America business, Santiago Fernández Valbuena. “Smartphone penetration is growing fast, and we expect mobile broadband to contribute around a third of all data traffic by 2013. But to continue with this growth we also need affordable smartphones.”
Mittal upped the stakes by calling for the GSMA to support a campaign for a USD50 smartphone. “I hope when I return to the Mobile World Congress next year such a device will exist.”
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Danbatta seeks Reps’ cooperation on telecom regulationsThe Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has called for more cooperation and understanding of members of the House of Representatives, on regulatory functions of the commission. Read More
Orange completes acquisition of Airtel in Burkina FasoOrange has announced that, together with its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire, it has completed the acquisition of 100% of the mobile operator Airtel in Burkina Faso. Read More
MTN Ghana goes live with 4G LTE in grand styleThe plush iconic MTN House, home to MTN Ghana’s operations came to a standstill on Tuesday, as the country’s telecom leader officially unveiled its latest 4G LTE services across the length and breadth of Ghana. Read More
NCC to end telcos’ voluntary adherence to corporate governanceAfter more than one year of voluntary adherence by telcos to the Corporate Governance Code for the industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday started a journey that will lead to mandatory enforcement. Read More
Telkom Kenya appoints new CEOTelkom Kenya has announced the appointment of Aldo Mareuse as the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. Read More
N1.04tr NCC fine: MTN agrees on N330b staggered paymentMTN Nigeria and the Nigeria Communications Commission have reached an amicable settlement in the matter of the N1.04trillion fine imposed by the regulator in October last year. Read More
MTN Nigerian fine payment terms resolvedMTN has announced that the matter of its fine has been resolved with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Read More
NCC to review 2.6GHz spectrum auctionThe Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, says the Commission will soon meet with operators over the recent auction of 2.6GHz spectrum. Read More
Vodafone Ghana committed to use technology to address critical health issuesThe new Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Cuba, has reiterated Vodafone Ghana’s commitment to using technology to address critical health issues such as maternal and infant mortality in the country. Read More
How telcos in Ghana performed in NCA’s Voice Subscriptions ReportAirtel and MTN Ghana increased their voice and data subscription bases in Q1 2016, according to NCA’s latest report on Mobile Voice and Data Subscription trends. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.