All-in-one mobile wallets and affordable financial services present a massive opportunity for telcos in Africa, said Amdocs.

With the global value of mobilebased payment set to increase dramatically, mobile payment solutions and affordable banking present the ‘next billion opportunity’ to telecommunications service providers, said Shlomi Moscovich, VP MEA at Amdocs.

Moscovich told the Amdocs Africa Business Summit in Pretoria that mobile presented numerous opportunities to telecommunications service providers that were challenged by declining ARPUs. “It’s not just about data,” he said, explaining that service providers were striving to give the customer more value. Becoming more profitable entails sweating the assets service providers have invested in, as well as taking new services to market and addressing new verticals, he said. New markets include the small and medium enterprise sector, an area South African telcos have not yet capitalised on, but which has the potential to deliver high value clients, he said.

Shlomi Moscovich, VP MEA at AmdocsShlomi Moscovich, VP MEA at Amdocs

“Service providers have the technology and the customer base to encourage new market segments to use more data and services, and increase their ARPU,” said Moscovich. “To do so, they need to simplify the customer experience, harness their available data better, stay ahead and operate more efficiently – reducing their opex.”

Rotem Ron-Katzir, director Account & Regional Marketing EMEA at Amdocs, told delegates that in South Africa alone, the potential for mobile payment growth was huge. She cited the success of mobile wallets in Kenya, where mobile transactions have been widely adopted.

Mobile money has a potentially important role to play in Africa, she said, where it could empower entrepreneurs, be used to disburse social grants, aid in disaster relief, reduce account servicing costs and times, and extend financial inclusion, Ron-Katzir noted.

Overcoming the challenges and embracing new market opportunities requires a combination of tools and strategies, said Amdocs. The company highlighted its recent acquisitions in the networking space, which position it to deliver self-optimising networks that reduce opex and delay capex.

Amdocs head of OSS Marketing, Justin Paul, said the acquisitions of Actix and Celcite last year had strengthened the company’s network capabilities, but the network ambitions did not stop there. “Amdocs now has extensive billing, network solutions, network and policy control, and radio expertise.”

dding, VP of Canada’s Bell IT Wireless, Retail Distribution and Bell Media, gave delegates insight into Bell’s growth and changed focus in recent years. He said Bell had transformed its customer experience and moved from voice to growth services such as wireless, TV, Internet and media. This is on the back of a 15-year partnership with Amdocs, spanning strategy, consulting, scoping, delivery and managed services. Bell is also represented at the Amdocs Technical Advisory Council. Bell’s future reflects a shift away from traditional voice, he concluded.