Nairobi hosts East African telecom investment summit as sector enters critical phase

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The TMT Finance East Africa 2013 Conference will be held in Nairobi amidst unprecedented fixed-line and mobile consolidation and increasing investment in new infrastructure and spectrum predicted for the next 12 months.

The TMT Finance East Africa 2013 Conference will be held in Nairobi amidst unprecedented fixed-line and mobile consolidation and increasing investment in new infrastructure and spectrum predicted for the next 12 months.

Leading executives from companies including Safaricom, Bharti Airtel, Orange Telkom, Eaton Towers, Helios Towers, Standard Bank, Citi and regional government representatives are meeting at the TMT Finance & Investment East Africa 2013 Conference (http://www.tmtfinance.com/eastafrica) on November 26 at the InterContinental Nairobi to tackle the critical opportunities and challenges for the region.

"Investment opportunities in Africa are immediate, significant, diverse and potentially very lucrative," said Enda Hardiman, Managing Partner, Hardiman Telecommunications, who will be leading a session on infrastructure investment at the conference. "Consolidation is in prospect and the fixed-line vista has changed out of all recognition. Landing of new submarine cables has increased connectivity by several orders of magnitude, while deployment of fibre in access networks is now common."

The conference will also include sessions on Regional Telecom Growth Strategies, Regulating Telecoms, Mergers and Acquisitions, Datacentres and Cloud, Applications and Mobile Banking, and Mobile Infrastructure.

"This is a really critical time for the East Africa region as critical decisions about the framework for investment, particularly regulation and spectrum allocation for 3G and 4G, will have a fantastic impact on regional growth," said Chris Buist, Director, Coleago Consulting, who will be chairing the session on regulation at the conference. "There are a number of important spectrum auctions coming up across the region and operators are looking at how best to use spectrum, infrastructure sharing, new technologies and business models to meet the massive demand for data services."

Mobile tower management and investment will also be an important topic at the conference.

"Specialist tower companies are now active continent-wide – all of which have recently engaged in successful fund-raising. Selloff of towers numbering 80,000 by the five major pan-African operators is now also in prospect," said Hardiman. "The investment vista is developing rapidly. The traditional "Big Five" operators continue to have vibrant investment programmes in place. This is now being complemented by focused interest on the part of the specialist, multi-billion dollar Private Equity funds. Sovereign wealth funds and specialist investors also continue to be active."

For the full conference programme, see http://www.tmtfinance.com/eastafrica/programme.

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Dominic Lowndes
TMT Finance
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