Ep 95 - African telcos: forge a new path! (2024)


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This week’s guest

Ali Hussein Kassim

Serial Entrepreneur, Commentator and ContributorAli Talks Tech

It’s no secret that telcos across the globe are grappling with how to monetize their 5G networks. But in Africa, only 1% of operators have implemented 5G, which puts them in a unique position to take advantage of new technologies like AI and the public cloud, and apply them to old 2G and 3G networks.

I recently appeared as a guest on the Ali Talks Tech podcast, which focuses on Africa’s changing technical landscape. Host Ali Hussein Kassim and I explored how African telcos can capitalize on using the public cloud with mobile networks and how AI and innovative tools are poised to drive real change across the continent. Listen now to hear:

  • How African telcos can benefit from the latest public cloud tech—even on 2G and 3G networks [02:31];
  • Zain Sudan’s groundbreaking work to connect older networks to AI and cloud services [11:02];
  • How cloud-based, pay-as-you-grow models are supercharging MVNOs in Nigeria [17:32]; and
  • How hyperscaler tools, AI and the public cloud can help telcos hyper-personalize offers and bring in new revenue [19:50].

Links and resources

  • Watch the video-version of my full conversation with Ali on the Ali Talks Tech YouTube channel.
  • Read McKinsey & Company’s January 2024 report, Africa’s leap ahead into cloud: Opportunities and barriers
  • Read the announcement of Totogi’s exciting partnership with Zain Sudan, and don’t miss my first conversation with Ali and Abdalla Hamid, Director of IT at Zain Sudan, where we talked about Totogi’s work to restore critical mobile services in Sudan after they were knocked out during the ongoing civil war.
  • Then be sure to check out my recent blog and Telco in 20 episode 89 to find out why the public cloud is PERFECT for Africa.
  • Take a look at the 2022 McKinsey & Company study about FinTech across Africa, African financial services are undergoing a structural shift, which Ali took part in.
  • Ali and I talked about the company that gave me my start back in the late 1990s, Trilogy. It was a $1B startup success story that garnered a lot of headlines at the time. Fast Company wrote about Trilogy in a piece called Insanity Inc. Here’s the cover from that issue. Look for me in the top right corner!
  • In 2015, the American news show 60 Minutes aired The Future of Money about M-PESA, Kenya’s mobile money solution from Safaricom.
  • Check out the Ali Talks Tech podcast for insights on Africa’s rapidly changing tech landscape.
  • Listen to this episode on our YouTube channel.
  • Read the transcript for this episode here.

Wanna talk public cloud? Telco execs, set up a meeting with our team to learn how to tap the immense business value it can bring.

Guest bio

Ali is a serial entrepreneur and a regular commentator and contributor on all things tech and the policy and regulatory landscape across Africa and beyond. He consults on digital transformation, and serves in leadership roles on public and private sector boards including Africa Fintech Network, Association of Fintechs in Kenya, and Kenya ICT Action Network. He enjoys mentoring and investing in tech entrepreneurs across Africa.

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The Telco in 20 podcast won 2024 and 2022 Hermes Awards, 2023 and 2022 MarComm Awards, and was recognized as a TeckNexus Top 12 Telco and Tech Podcast, Forrester Top 100 Channel Podcast and Feedspot Top 10 Telecom Podcast. If you enjoy the podcast, would you leave us a short review? It takes you seconds to do in your app and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests. And I love reading your feedback and reviews!

Podcast credits

  • Executive Producer and Host: Danielle Rios, TelcoDR
  • Senior Producer: Lindsay Grubb, TillCo Media
  • Senior Editor/Brand Manager: Alisa Jenkins, Springboard Marketing
  • Audio Editor: Andrew Condell
  • Supervising Producer: Amanda Avery
  • Associate Producer: Kriselda Dionisio
  • Music: Dyami Wilson

Most popular podcasts

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Ep 95 - African telcos: forge a new path! (6)

More episodes from Telco in 20

Ep 94 – Are you ready for Singtel?Singtel, a leading MNO in AsiaPac, has a reputation for innovation. Anna Yip, CEO of business development and deputy CEO for Singapore, shares insights into the telco’s efforts to build new revenue, customer satisfaction, and subscriber loyalty.
Ep 93 – The NETWORK will be the reason telcos move to the public cloudTransformation leader Juha Korhonen explores signs that telecoms are ready to think about moving network workloads, why some aren't realizing cloud savings, and the need for BSS and OSS to converge.
Ep 92 – The state of cloud in telco, with Iain Morris from Light ReadingFollowing telcos' adoption of the public cloud is critical to understanding the future of the telecom industry. Iain Morris from Light Reading gives his take on where telcos are in their public cloud journey, how AI factors in, and more.
Ep 95 - African telcos: forge a new path! (2024)
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