The day was opened by a very educational presentation from Mr Michael Joseph, CEO of Safaricom the leading operator in Kenya’s market. His focus was on the increasing importance of converged services in East Africa’s largest market. He said to Informa Telecoms & Media in an interview after that Safaricom will not abuse its dominance in the market, but will continue to use its unique understanding of the Kenyan subscribers to provide appropriate services.
Mr Joseph was keen to emphasis the risks that Safaricom had taken in previous years, and competitive operators like Zain Kenya and Orange Telkom Kenya to do the same, and make invest to ensure continued growth in the availability and consumption of data in Kenya.
The morning continued with a presentation from a new entrant in the Tanzanian market, Sasatel. Managing Director Christian Haeger gave a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges that Sasatel has encountered since its launch, and his message clearly demonstrated the benefits presented by CDMA as the technology for high-speed, reliable internet for Tanzanian consumers. Mr Gil Epstein’s talk, from ECI Telecom, about the challenges facing operators who plan to offer converged services was illuminating for delegates, and both Gil and Christian’s perspectives were asked for during the interactive panel discussion that finished the morning session. During this interview-panel delegates were able to pose questions to Menghistab Tesfai, CTO at Uganda Telecom, Evans Nyagah, Senior Manager of Corporate Sales for Safaricom, Michale Magambo, Business Development with Zantel Tanzania, and Bernard Wahome, CEO of Broadcom Kenya. The main topic was how to plan for converged services and encourage growth, and clearly the route to success will be complex. In the afternoon delegates heard insightful and comprehensive presentations covering optimisation of networks and strategies to improve efficiency from speakers Mark Holdsworth, Director of Professional Services in EMEA for Motorola, who focused on the Killer customer experience, and Jayant Khosla, CEO of Yu Kenya, and CEO for East Africa at Essar Group.
The day was rounded-off with speakers and panellists including Bayan Monadjem, Technical Director for Zain’s East African Network, Themba Khumalo, CEO of MTN Uganda, Thomas Yieke, Executive VP at Rick Broadman Partners, Suraj Chaudhury, Head of Business Development for VNL, Matt Reed, Editor of MEAWA, Thecla Mbongue, Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, Peter Schulze, Founder of The Next S IT Consulting, and Bernard Wahome who is CEO of Broadcom Kenya.