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A multimillion chance in Southern Africa for European IT / Communications Companies
$409.7 million is the estimated revenue, that companies in the South African Unified Communications market will reach in 2016.1South Africa started to realise that UC solutions facilitate simplicity as well as lucrative return on investment. Africa itself is a growth continent with South Africa being the springboard into other sub-Saharan African markets, which as a result creates lucrative opportunities for innovative communication solutions. The current expansion movement of South African companies into the African continent (such as banks etc.) together with the continuously increasing number of outsourced service centres are driving opportunities for UC vendors. The communications sector can expect a dynamic demand in UC solutions in Africaís growing markets.
Telecommunications Industry in Africa
The telecommunications Industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Africa. As African telecommunications infrastructure deployment accelerates, innovative communications will become even more relevant to the continentís business success. In particular, bandwidth hungry communication technologies such as Unified Communications will experience a sharply increased demand in Africa in the medium term.
South Africa strives to become a digital economy. In 2012 the South African Government announced a financial injection in the region of ZAR 90 billion into the ICT /telecommunications sector, with the goal to provide 100% broadband coverage throughout South Africa by 2020. South Africa currently holds rank 104 out of 172 countries in terms of fixed broadband penetration.
According to the ITWeb / Gijima Unified Communications Survey in 2011, 35.85% are current UC users, with 33.97% planning to establish UC in the next 5 years. Cellular mobile data network development, entire campus WiFi services, desktop application content sharing and online meetings, voice solutions, tablet, smartphone and mobile device adoption and video conference solutions / services are among the UC services that are in high demand.
Common concerns regarding the use of Unified Communications are raised in terms of bandwidth cost and availability, security issues and the lack of standardisation. But given the financial packet of ZAR 90 Billion, the above mentioned concerns should be soon a thing of the past.
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1 Frost & Sullivan Analysis South African Unified Communications Market