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May 16, 2014

The Global View on WebRTC

By TMCnet Special Guest
David Alozie, Etisalat Nigeria

I have been following the WebRTC community for a while now and several articles and white papers have directly or indirectly proved the future prospects of WebRTC worldwide.

It seems so strange that the volume of content barely mentions Africa or anything related to Africa. I wouldn’t believe the reasons were infrastructural, financial or economical in nature because several reports and analysis from international bodies have proved Africa to be fast-growing economically and Internet-wise and to crown it all, the whole world, companies and investors are talking about emerging economies like Africa and Asia Pacific.

Time might fail me during my presentation on June 17 at the WebRTC Conference & Expo IV to say all that needs to be said so I decided to write introductory articles to lay a foundation for my presentation.

It is admitted that Internet infrastructures in Africa are still a work in progress but it is also worthy of note that several Internet video/audio call OTT players are quickly spreading and recording exponential user  growth in Africa. Telco companies in Africa are playing very major roles in the proliferation of Internet usage in Africa, which has also been of tremendous support to the OTT players and also OEMs.

A recent report from GSMA wireless intelligent showed a 10-percent drop in CAGR of ARPU of GSM subscribers in Africa owing to decreasing average mobile tariff prices and the market opening up to lower income segments that have a lower ARPU. This report has saved observers and experts from having dropped jaws at the increasing level of tension in the telco business in Africa, which has encouraged diversification in products and services.

From personal interviews and questionnaires, most Africans, in hunger for cheaper communication costs, have started switching to OTT Internet communication solutions. The outcome of this shows another possible reason for the drop in the GSMA report.

The pure and gospel truth is that, as far as telecommunication is concerned, Africa’s market terrain is unique and dynamic, two very good examples are the OEM-telco relationship in Africa, as against other regions, where the telcos offer sales support to the mobile and the rapidly increasing ratio of prepaid to post-paid lines in Africa, which is 25:1.

Africa is an emerging market yet to attain market maturity with growing income and therefore has  of elements of surprises. This truth really characterised my answers in my recent Q&A session with Rachel Ramsey.

They sounded controversial, especially the issue of WebRTC support by Microsoft and Apple, but the fact remains that WebRTC’s success in Africa might not be fully dependent on that seeing that Android OS is gradually becoming more popular because of affordability and its availability in a wide range of devices.

The future of WebRTC depends so much on the present WebRTC community and I believe focusing more on WebRTC perfection and effective adoption strategy would solve the issue of platform supports. Hit the billionth user mark and every other platform would want to offer support for WebRTC to maintain/increase their market relevance. 

David Alozie is a young and innovative entrepreneur with interest in ICT analysis as relates to Africa. He also has experience in Web, mobile app development and WebRTC technology. He also led teams which held talks with organizations like AMD and DTK computers in respect to the Nigerian Market and has carried out several market research surveys on several ICT products in Nigeria.

He is into national development through ICT empowerment trainings in several states of Nigeria. He also had organized some ICT Empowerment training programs under the Ministry of Economic Empowerment, Jigawa State and other organizations. He recently was among the Etisalat top ten in the Etisalat Geek Contest 2013. He presently works with Etisalat Nigeria at the Retail Sales Department.

To find out more about Alozie and Etisalat, visit the company at WebRTC Conference & Expo. Taking place June 17-19 in Atlanta, Ga., WebRTC Conference & Expo is the leading event for developers and decision makers to discuss, network, showcase and learn about the business impacts of WebRTC and the development of standards. Alozie is speaking during “The Global View.” For more information on WebRTC Conference & Expo, click here

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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