In a recent interview the CEO of Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans, highlighted his plans for competing in the largest telecommunication market in Africa. Currently, Etisalat is ranked fourth in Nigeria in terms of subscriber market share, behind MTN, Glo Mobile, and Zain. One of the methods Evans mentioned was using his company's financial muscle to wrestle market share from incumbents - improving QOS by building the 3G network rapidly and aggressively. Another idea is totarget customers in more active commercial areasin the south and southeastern regions of Nigeria.
At this juncture, many might lament how clich these methods are, but anyone who understands Etisalat will know that these aren't its only strategies. Etisalat is well known for innovations. Among its tried and tested methods of gaining market share, the company has another weapon it can unleash against its competition: education.
But why education?
Education exposes people to the world of knowledge and to the World Wide Web (whether mobile or fixed). Pushing education within Nigeria creates reliance on the internet, which in turn creates demand for internet access technologies. And that's where the picture turns rosy for operators.
Education usually brings higher income with it. Nigeria has a very large grey market where operators tend to sell unauthorized products that come mostly from Asia, as well as second hand products that come from Europe and the United States. The main draw of this market is its low prices, but the goods lack warranties and are usually not as durable and reliable as their counterparts in the regular market. Higher income among Nigerians would direct consumption and demand back to authorized channels - such as Etisalat.
Besides that, education creates a common ground that brings people together and creates a need for social networking sites as well as applications or technologies for people to keep in contact with one another, SMS for example. These activities translate into increased data consumption and the need for cloud services.
PS: I am now experimenting on a"blog series" idea so as tohave amore focused blogging as well as create a platform for analysts and readersto discuss about certain topics. The first theme that I came up with is the "Emerging market" series where I cover a range of topics from emerging markets. But I need yourfeed back onyour thoughtsfor this (or probably what themes you would like to see)to decide whether tocarry on with this expermiement.
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