The soaring demand for next generation broadband services, as well as voice, will drive a new phase of telecom investment in Africa over the next decade, telecom investors are predicting, ahead of the fourth annual TMT Finance & Investment Africa Conference in London on June 20. (www.tmtfinance.com/africa)
Over $150 billion has been invested into African telecoms infrastructure over the past decade and investors are eager to ensure the next wave of investment will be more effective.
“There remains a significant need for further telecom investment in Africa, for basic mobile services and especially data/high bandwidth services – both static and mobile where 4G/LTE may add to solutions. Consequently there remains significant opportunity,” said Roland Janssens, Deputy Head, EAIF: Frontier Markets Fund Managers. “At the same time competitive pressures in the market on user revenue and overall for new entrants make financier risk perceptions high and financiers are consequently vetting opportunities quite carefully,” he said.
Over 150 African telecom leaders, investors, regulators, bankers and advisers are meeting in London for the conference which features a series of leadership panel discussions on investment strategy.
Tim Harrabin, Senior Advisor, Analysys Mason, will chair the CFO and Investors Round Table -Building profitable businesses for Africa, which includes Millicom, Standard Bank, Helios Towers Africa and the IFC of the World Bank.
Harrabin previously led global telecoms investment, strategy and M&A for Vodafone, including Safaricom (Kenya) from its inception in 2000 until 2012; and the transformation of Ghana Telecom into Vodafone Ghana.
“There is no infrastructure gap in telecoms across Africa – since 2000, over US$150bn has been invested in licence fees, mobile infrastructure, subsea cables, national fibre optic and mobile money platforms,” said Harrabin. “This panel will entertain a lively discussion about the extent to which investors are now seeing a return on these investments; and will offer their views about the likely level and type of investment over the ten years,” he said.
Over 40 speakers have been announced for the conference, including CEOs and Heads of M&A, infrastructure and regulation from Etisalat Group, Tata Communications, France Telecom-Orange, Vodacom, LAPGreenN, Liquid Telecom, Etisalat Nigeria, Seacom, Sudatel, O3B Networks, TRA Lebanon, Ericsson, Avanti Communications, Huawei, Helios Towers, IHS and Eaton Towers. Leading financial institutions and advisory businesses speaking include Barclays Capital, UBS, Ernst & Young, Linklaters, Standard Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Herbert Smith Freehills, Fidelity Bank, IFC, ING, Mott Macdonald, Capital MSL and Access Bank.
For full details on the programme or speakers list go to: www.tmtfinance.com/africa/programme
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