Archives For safaricom

syndicated from: IT News Africa

Dr Pieter Streicher lends this thoughts to what the messaging space will look like in the coming year. I concur on many of the points the raises, and believ we will see the same in the East African market.

2012 is the year the electronic communications opt-in vs opt-out debate is going to come to a head, and the fallout is going to have a significant impact on both businesses and consumers. Related telecommunication regulatory decisions are going to affect both the price of SMS, as well as the amount of SMS spam consumers receive every day – directly impacting the efficacy of the medium.

So, an important year for both SMS as a channel, particularly when used as an alert service, as well as consumers and their exposure to SMS spam.

Here then are Dr Pieter predictions for 2012 in more detail: Continue Reading…


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Technology changes rapidly and many innovations are born that allow services to be run more efficiently  and at a much lower cost. Cloud computing is one such technology that has enabled numerous businesses ensure their services are up and running without the attendant high cost that infrastructure investments  would bring. By reducing the total cost of ownership, cloud technology allows services to scale on the fly, and offer better options for data portability.  However, there are some risks associated with cloud services, though they can be explained away by simple probability and cost benefit analysis.

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The Connected Kenya Summit  concluded recently Mombasa, and with the theme of  innovating for the citizen, it maked for interesting discussions, presentations and thinking. With both government and private sector engaging, it is clear that we are making headway in leveraging information technology to deliver value to the citizen.

Slowly things are coming together with the right people in the right places and tremendous good will, both in government and the private sector. The work at the directorate of e-government under the direction of Dr. Katherine Getao is particularly refreshing and it is defining the framework that will lead to what I will call the real digital revolution in Kenya, where every citizen will have access to information and services without the mental wall of understanding or steep learning curve that most technology based solutions present; where we address 18th, 19th and 20th century problems in one fell swoop. Continue Reading…

It is always interesting to hear discussions around emerging technologies or industries that seem to capture the minds of everyone; from your barber to the executive at a FMCG company. More often than not, if the discussion is based on mobile technology, a lot of assumptions are made as to who plays what role and where the opportunity lies.

At the very top of the mobile ecosystem is the regulator CCK – Communications Commission of Kenya who are in charge of issuing licenses to mobile network operators, premium rate service providers – PRSP’s and content providers. The different tiers of licensing attract varied fees with the current cost of the PRSP and content provider license standing at Ksh 100,000, on top of an application fee of Ksh.10, 000. The license fee is annual and from year two, it  is based on a percentage of revenue generated by your firm with the lower limit of Ksh.100,000. Continue Reading…

Increasingly people want to be able to stay connected and communicate with their friends on Facebook anytime, anywhere,” said Henri Moissinac, Head of Mobile Business, Facebook. “Gemalto has developed a creative solution in Facebook for SIM that enables people without mobile data plans to stay connected to their friends on Facebook in an affordable way.

A new technology developed by digital security firm Gemalto will soon see Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, coming to any mobile phone handset, regardless of whether it has a data connection or subscription.

Facebook integration comes by way of its Facebook for SIM service, which embeds the Facebook software application into the SIM card. This means that the client will be 100% compatible with any mobile phone that uses a SIM card for its carrier connectivity.

The experience won’t be as visually aesthetic as it would be if you were accessing the social network on your smartphone but Gemalto’s solution will still be able to deliver friend requests, status updates, wall posts and messages. Users can sign up for the service and log into their accounts directly from the SIM application and notifications can be delivered to the phone’s screen to display any messages, events or posts shared on their friends’ walls. Continue Reading…

The fact that mobile is big in Africa is undeniable with more people seeking to understand how to  derive maximum value from this channel. What most seek to know is how to generate revenue from the various services that they can offer. To generate revenue, one must have the ability to bill for services and there are various ways of doing this.

Shortcodes are 3-4 digit numbers that are availed by Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) to Premium Rate Service Providers (PRSP’s) for purposes of setting up services.  At the time of setup, shortcodes are assigned billing bands which range from normal sms rates to premium rates of up to 100 shillings. Shortcodes don’t offer flexible billing and you must choose the best fit for your service. Shortcodes attract a monthly rental fee from the operators and may attract a premium one-off fee if the code is considered “golden”, such as an easy to remember 5544 for example.

Mobile operators usually reserve the use of 3 digit short-codes for network centric services. Continue Reading…

When thinking about reaching out to the mobile consumer, we tend to gravitate more to the obvious use of sms – either directly via bulk messaging or shortcode. There has been a market for hawking lists and databases locally that has seen many hapless Kenyans spammed silly with non – opt in, non targeted marketing material.

Email seems to have slipped to the back burner as many may not have noted mobile device manufactures adapt their devices and software to cater for mobile email.

That various social networks have over one million Kenyans registered; it very well means that there are the same number of active email addresses with real people behind them waiting to be engaged. The social networks have also primed consumers for alerts via email as practically all actions that occur on their platforms are communicated back via email.

However, the rules of engagement are not far off from what we have seen adopted for the more ubiquitous messaging channel that is sms. The key challenge with email, is that delivery may not be guaranteed and if delivered, it may not be opened by the target consumer. The obvious advantage of email over sms is the amount of information you can disseminate and the ease of retransmission of your message to the social graph.

So how do we ensure that email is plugged back to our consumer communications? Continue Reading…

Mobile technology has grown tremendously over the past decade with devices becoming smarter and faster and the supporting technologies improving by the day. With increased capabilities of mobile phone handsets, there is growing demand for content that can be downloaded or streamed.

The growth in this demand and the availability of the supporting technology such as 3G, opens up huge opportunities for the local film industry.
The local film industry can explore the potential of mobile devices as an outlet for content consumption and discovery. The modern lifestyle is one lived on the go, and to fully leverage this, the industry can create “bite sized” pieces of content that mobile subscribers can consume on their mobile devices – mobisodes.

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The *iHub_ Nairobi and the Elimisha_us initiative are pleased to announce that Michael Joseph, the CEO of Safaricom Ltd, who is due to retire on November 1, 2010 will come to the *iHub_ Nairobi to meet with young techies, entrepreneurs and tech creatives and reflect on various issues including his last decade at the helm of the most successful company in East Africa.

In a candid discussion (just ten days before his retirement), Mr. Joseph is expected to share the wisdom gathered in his many years as a technology leader and his decade at Safaricom with young future technology leaders who are on the rise today. Among the issues that he may cover in his honest reflections are – his experience setting up and running Safaricom, the values that have driven him, his views on Kenya’s ICT development and its future direction and innovation.

In addition, as October 20th 2010 is Heroes day, the young developers, bloggers, tech creatives and entrepreneurs, will toast to the success of this leader, who through his visionary leadership at Safaricom has made significant contributions to the development of the opportunities they have today. Continue Reading…