The tariff wars between the mobile operators was bound to have a resounding effect at some point in time, with the day of reckoning coming by way of Safaricom announcement of their half year results that saw a 47.4 percent dip in half year net profit to Ksh 4 billion. Traditional voice and messaging has in the past been majorly peer to peer and served as the cash cow for mobile network operators. With consumers calling for lower tariffs on both these fronts, mobile network operators are having their work cut out for them, if the plum profits they have enjoyed in the past are to remain constant.
TNS Research International East Africa released a report last year dubbed – Digital Life 2010 that looked into what Kenyans are doing online. That alongside other research can help in determining where to place effort and financing toward the creation of compelling new services for mobile network operators. What is important though is that this innovation need not come from within the operators but they should look to the growing local developer community.
My growth area forecasts are as follows.