Early success with ST Group making inroads into the African Market
ST Group’s African development strategy has shown some success as Kenyan telecommunications companies Airtel and Safaricom have recently made significant investments in Location Intelligence.
ST Group is also expanding their penetration of the telecommunications market with their asset management software, ConnectMaster through growth in the Mauritius-based Liquid Telecom Group and an initial sale to the government telecommunications organisation Zamtel in Zambia.
The Group’s focus for the near term is mainly SADC countries and the East African Community. A seminar covering Location Intelligence products and Asset Management software will be presented in Nairobi in late June this year. However, in the medium term, West Africa presents itself as a significant growth opportunity and preparatory research indicates that this should be the next spearhead for the Group.
The Group’s products provide significant value to the Telecommunications market and their scalability allows the Group to grow their business as the clients in that market grow their penetration of the various regions on the continent.
ST Group is a member of the FTTH Council Africa and many of the enquiries from throughout Africa stem from the specialised subset of ConnectMaster that specifically addresses this market. Any company owning or managing optic fibre networks can benefit from this asset management software.
Liquid Telecom Group’s fibre network, from Cape Town to Uganda covers more than 15,000km, crossing borders and linking a variety of operators across the continent. They have a significant presence in the EAC where they link Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Kigali on a single fibre network. Liquid also provides backhaul between most urban areas and last mile connectivity in the main cities of the DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa.
Safaricom is the Kenyan mobile operator that operates the M-Pesa world renowned mobile banking system with more than 11 million active users. They also have more than 8 million 3G users and about 7 million fixed broadband customers.
Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary Airtel Networks Kenya is said to be acquiring the subscriber base of Essar Telecom Kenya, which operates under the brand name Yu. This will give Airtel a bigger market share and cement their place as second largest operator after Safaricom.
State-owned Zamtel has announced that, in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei, it has set up a walk-in 4G Live Experiential Centre at its offices in the Kitwe so that customers can see the technology in action. Zamtel’s vision is to make a positive and meaningful impact in the lives of Zambians from all walks of life and in all parts of the nation.
These African successes come on the heels of ST Group’s local expansion of the customer base of both Location Intelligence products and the telecommunications asset management software, ConnectMaster.