Mastercard Digital Evolution Index: Key African Insights
Following on from yesterday’s fallout from Mastercard’s Digital Evolution Index which places South Africa as the most developed in Africa, today’s analysis spreads more broadly, revealing the three key talking points from across the continent.
The Index analyses four key underlying drivers and barriers that govern a country’s evolution into a digital economy: Demand (consumer demographics, income and internet access), Supply (technology and infrastructure), Institutional Environment (governmental policy), and Innovation (environment for creating startups and the overall competitive landscape).
Each country is given an overall digital readiness score between zero (low digital readiness) and 100 (digitally saturated), which is derived from an average score of these four interdependent drivers.
The index also provides an indication, by country, where the next billion internet users will come from globally.
Egypt’s Innovation score of 29.5 and its Demand and Supply drivers both above 15 helped place it second in the African rankings.
According to the Index, Egypt has the potential to be one of the top 10 fastest evolving countries globally in the next five years. Mobile payments are in place for an impressive run due to the first ever interoperable Arabic mobile money implementation in Egypt.
While the ecommerce penetration rate among Egyptians is still low at 3.4 percent, Egypt’s online purchases are expected to triple by 2016, according to Euromonitor.
Kenya’s Innovation score of 32.9 was its highest driver score followed by its Institution score of 14. This is due to a combination of factors including the country’s mobile payment capabilities, led by the M-Pesa platform, which shows an evolved mobile market where 25 percent of Kenya’s GDP travels through M-Pesa.
In 2013, Kenya’s mobile penetration rate was 72.5 percent growing by 5.6 percent to 32.3 million subscribers during the second quarter of 2014. Kenya faces challenges with its Supply and Demand drivers, which if focussed on over time will lead to an improved overall Index score.
Nigeria’s Innovation and Institution drivers fared relatively well largely owing to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cashless Policy that is expected to drive growth in electronic payments and ecommerce, the country’s increasingly urban population that will have better access to the Internet over the coming years, and the fact that Nigeria has 94 percent mobile penetration.
Its Supply and Demand drivers have much potential for improvement, with scores of 6.8 and 7.3 respectively, pointing to a need for improved technology and infrastructure. However, Nigeria showed the greatest potential for digital growth.
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.