Industry awards technology players at AfricaCom
15 November 2013, 16:20
Cape Town - Technology companies have been honoured at the AfricaCom technology conference in Cape Town.
The conference is designed to allow stakeholders to examine the state of the ICT Telecoms industries and offer solutions to some of the challenges, particularly in developing countries.
As the conference wound down, the focus shifted to increasing competition in the mobile ICT industry in Africa, with specific reference to government regulations.
Speakers highlighted the need for the regulatory environment to open markets and allow for companies to compete on a level playing field.
At the AfricaCom 2013 Awards, Huawei Technologies won the award for Best Network Improvement. The company partnered with Telkom to offer fixed broadband and voice.
Ericsson won the Best Quality User Experience award for its Multiscreen Self-care service which allows service providers to make it easier for end users to make purchases, access services and monitor spending.
Wholesale broadband provider Seacom won the Best Connectivity Solution for Africa and the Best Pan African Initiative awards. The company was hailed for its IP network that allows ease of African connections and cost-effective solutions for African small businesses.
Some of the issues discussed at AfricaCom include the provisioning of mobile broadband services which are widely regarded as having the potential to unlock growth on the continent.
Africa is constrained not only by a lack of infrastructure, but some government policies specifically target mobile technology.
The GSM Association said that policies that levied specific taxes on mobile devices, international calls and text messages should be revised as they could potentially cripple the industry.
"We have to understand affordability and all the lip service that is paid to affordability by policymakers," Peter Lyons, director of Public Policy Africa Middle East at the GSM Association told News24.
He argued that the industry faced onerous taxation regimes particularly in African developing countries.
"I think they [policymakers] should have a discussion with their minsters of finance and the ministers of communication should be the evangelists within the cabinet for why this sector needs a reprieve from these multiple layers of taxation which affects the cost of mobile data."
Here is a list of all the prize winners:
Best Network Improvement: Huawei Technologies
Best Quality User Experience: Ericsson
Best Cost Efficiency Solution for Africa: Liquid Telecom
Rural Telecoms Award : Safaricom limited
Best Connectivity Solution for Africa: Seacom
Best Marketing Campaign: Orange
Best Mobile Marketing Campaign: Mobitainment
Best Digital Music Initiative: Spice VAS Africa
Best Mobile Money Service: Mahindra Comviva
Best App for Africa: Prezence Bid or Buy
Most Innovative Service: MTN Swaziland
Best Pan African Initiative: Seacom
Industry Personality of the Year: Chris Wood of WIOCC
Changing Lives Award: Open Idea
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