Mobile net¬work operators (MNOs) in Nigeria’s vibrant telecommunications market are in a renewed push to eke out fresh revenue from Value Added Services (VAS) segment valued at $1 billion. This is as regulatory and competitive pressures hit voice service pricing hard, industry analysts have said.
Africa’s mobile Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) has continued to decline by 14 percent year-on-year since 2004. “As voice-based average revenue per user declines, operators are increasingly looking at VAS to profitably increase data revenues by delivering targeted content to their subscribers”, Ehizogie Binitie, co-founder at Rancard Solutions Limited, told Business Day.
A new report by re¬search company, Ovum, forecasts that there will be high growth in VAS in the African region over the next couple of years.
According to Neha Dharia, analyst for consumer telecoms at Ovum, “The largest share of revenues will come from the Asia-Pacific region, at 13 percent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). The second region with significant growth is the Middle East and Africa, with a CAGR of 12 percent.”
Telecoms companies already see the market potentials, according to industry insiders, with many already renewing and revitalising existing partnerships with mobile VAS providers. This is in a bid churn out innovative services to meet the ever-rising demands of telecoms customers.
Globacom, second national operator, organised a live demonstration of over ten VAS offerings for the Nigerian market. MTN is also making headway in the area of mobile VAS market. The firm is the first to enter the market and provide new services for mobile subscribers who have found the experience useful to them.
MTN’s mobile newspaper, an MMS based service, is gaining significant traction in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. MTN callertunez is also making a very big impact within the Nigerian market. Callertunez is a ring back tune service that provides major content in this market. Kenneth Omeruo, chief executive officer of TechTrends, ob-served that there was a need for more content platforms to spring up, so as to lower barriers to entry, increase access and provide tools for people who have great ideas to make money from.
Kelvin Fangkai, who manages the Data Hosting Services for Huawei Technologies, said MTN has built a robust relationship with VAS providers.