According to Deloitte, the telecoms industry in South Africa is maturing and it is becoming more challenging to differentiate on network coverage and performance only.

Price reduction is fuelling competition among players, forcing them to engage in a potentially damaging race to the bottom. As the traditional voice, market continues to decline in relevance, it is contributing less to overall telecoms revenues. When it comes to data, according to business day, in 2020, Vodacom and MTN was required to drop mobile data prices by 50%, eating into their margins, after an extensive investigation by the competition commission. Vodacom had to drop prices up to 40% to accommodate lower prices for consumers. Mobile data price are expected to keep coming down as operators focus on increasing data traffic volumes and new revenues streams. Recent Accenture research, estimates that the adoption of digital technologies can unlock R182 billion in value for the South African telecommunications industry, consumers and society by 2026.

The new trends in the telecommunication industry are major growth from value–added services. Digital transformations of new technologies are helping to provide opportunities for the telecommunication industry to grow on their service offerings and solutions to add value-added services to customers and consumers. Innovation technology, if used correctly, can help telcos separate themselves in the market and it will increase revenue by increasing data uses for various applications. This will call for the telecommunication industry to think outside the connectivity box into increasing value-added services.

The first industry that will be enhanced from the Covid-19 pandemic is healthcare. From telemedicine apps that allow us to connect with qualified doctors whenever needed, get a diagnosis and up to treatment guidelines and procedures online. Telecommunications companies who will be the first to use and embrace this industry by leveraging their uses base and data consumption to more inclusive healthcare uses will get major boost to their earning bottom line.

According to the Insight Partners, it is a website which provides an industry research provider of actionable intelligence; the key technologies that are penetrating the global agricultural sector are AI, IOT, machine learning, automation systems, and SaaS. Agri inputs, precision agriculture, farm management software, supply chain tech, quality management and traceability are some of the key growth areas that are driving the technology adoption in global agriculture sector. Smart farming is expected to increase in the years to come, with the use of telecommunication companies partnering with advanced faming platforms to improve crop yields and increase quality of produce. Telecoms can focus on smart farming by providing added-value services to this industry, according to Cambridge Consultants, Simon Jordan, “5G is critical to smart farming, as it supports machine to machine (M2M services).”

5G would ensure that machines are controlled centrally and that data could be sent back in real time. Advanced technologies such as AI, IOT, ML, and Saas must be viewed as a priority for adding value to the agricultural sectors. Telecom companies can be the solution by partnering/integrate with the advanced technology companies to provide these services for the agricultural industries.

According to data by adapt IT, the financial technology innovations, in the form of mobile wallets, mobile money, and digital payments have become an innovative and essential service globally. Telecommunication industry has the opportunity to connect with billion unbanked customers that are already using the telecom’s network and data. The fintech market has a huge growth potential and is looking for financial inclusion for simple and convenient ways to make payments. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the requirement for the fintech solutions that enabled payments to be virtual either by mobile phones or online. Fintech-related trends would continue to grow and affect the future of the telco industry and provide the telecommunication industry with an opportunity to increase on their service offerings.

The Israel Trade Mission will be hosting a webinar that will display some of the innovative Israeli technologies, which can uplift the telecom industry with new added-value services for the telecom market. The Israeli companies are considered as the world leader for AI, big data and connectivity that are crucial for building a network of add-on technologies for the telecom industry and were implemented successfully in other telecom companies in SA and all over the globe. This session we will be showing leading technologies to telcos around agricultural, healthcare, streaming, and IOT.