New business models in combination with satellite-delivered connectivity will drive down telecom costs and enable new, more efficient and effective ways to learn, work, and live. This was the consensus of opinion I sensed during our virtual sessions at the NigeriaCom and WestAfricaCom conferences, the largest meetings of telecom players in West Africa. I was pleased to lead two sessions at the conference.
Tweaking existing (now decades-old) mobile technologies may not do the job to sufficiently drive down costs and enable new services delivery. The tweaks involve a combination of work arounds and heavy subsidies that are akin to building a new house on a poor foundation. New disruptive technologies and business models will include commercial elements (advertising and commerce) and rely primarily on satellites for data transmission. A new generation of low-cost satellite smartphones and hotspots will emerge that will allow everyone to benefit from the internet as a fundamental human right.
Disruptive changes will give the dominant telecom players a run for their money as new operators enter the market and threaten the status quo. There are also huge political, regulatory, and policy implications; but the need for improved connectivity will keep the transformative momentum going.
Watch our Nigeria Com and West Africa Com conference session video “Teachers Are Great Telecom Customers.”