The International Telecoms Week (ITW) Africa is set to be held this week in Nairobi, Kenya, as from Tuesday September 12 to 14, 2023. The event, which serves as a dedicated meeting for the digital infrastructure community, is designed to facilitate deal-making, networking and learning between the continent’s decision makers and international connectivity providers and enablers.
Uniting carrier, cloud, data centre, hyperscale, content, satellite, subsea, investment, software and infrastructure industries, ITW Africa will help create new partnerships that will lay the foundations needed to support Africa’s future digital economy.
To be held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Upper Hill, Nairobi, ITW Africa aims to facilitate back-to-back meetings where attendees and delegates can negotiate new deals, reinforce partnerships, or make new connections. Using a meeting and matchmaking platform, attendees can make the right connections, with bespoke meeting spaces that cater to all deal-making scenarios, from M&A to commercial and interoperability agreements.
Below are highlights of some key themes and agenda items at the 3-day forum:
- TERRESTRIAL, SUBSEA & SATELLITE: The way we work and connect is a game-changer for the infrastructure landscape. The gaps in pan-African connectivity are now being filled across land, air, and sea. There is an increasing focus on the build-out of wholesale, FTTx, and last-mile fibre, to ensure that the substantial bandwidth capacity brought in on new subsea cables is widely accessible. Satellite technology is the final piece of the puzzle. Not only does it present an enormous opportunity for collaboration, but also for serving the ‘last billion’ and enabling widespread participation in our digital society.
- INVESTMENT & M&A: Market access is improving as most monopolies have now been removed, with other carriers granted licenses to operate. There is due a significant investment in telecommunications and distribution companies to accelerate digitalization in Africa, with a continuing trend of power companies investing in fibre, often partnering with telcos to offer services.
- 5G ROLL OUT: 5G rollouts or plans to cover a larger population have been announced by numerous continent-leading carriers. Additionally, AWS has approval for a substantial campus. Telecom companies are increasingly placing an emphasis on the cloud and data centers.
- ESG & SUSTAINABILITY: Most African nations have a huge potential for renewable energy sources such as hydro, solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal. As a result of energy transformation, policymakers are reconsidering how they approach energy access. The options available outside of the grid are rapidly being altered by technological advancements.
- DATA CENTRES & CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE: The data centre and cloud infrastructure landscape is rapidly developing as companies seek to meet the growing demand for digital services and the need for enterprises to manage and store data. Despite attracting increasing investment, colos and hyperscalers need to navigate several challenges, such as limited access to reliable power, lack of infrastructure, skilled labour, and regulatory environment.
- SERVICE TRANSFORMATION: As enterprises digitalise their business, operators are transforming their offerings from traditional connectivity plays to value-added services. In order to ensure competitiveness, operators need to not only provide digital services such as mobile money to enterprises and consumers, but ensure that back-end and front-end strategies take on a ‘digital-native’ interface. The XaaS model, 5G technologies, network automation – the list is growing, alongside the enterprise need.
- TALENT: As enterprises digitalise their business, operators are transforming their offerings from traditional connectivity plays to value-added services. In order to ensure competitiveness, operators need to not only provide digital services such as mobile money to enterprises and consumers, but ensure that back-end and front-end strategies take on a ‘digital-native’ interface. The XaaS model, 5G technologies, network automation – the list is growing, alongside the enterprise need.
- REGULATION: Market access is improving as more licenses to operate are granted to carriers. Greater regulatory collaboration paired with significant investment has helped to establish data centre and telecoms market leaders, whilst also fostering competition. Despite the current macroeconomic environment, digital infrastructure has proven to be an attractive proposition for investors. However, to continue the consolidation and scaling-up, considerable and considerate capital investment is needed.
Founded in 2008 by working closely with industry partners and founding members, ITW provides a crucial platform for the entire digital infrastructure community to meet, conduct business and drive change across the industry. ITW enables companies to showcase their very best in front of more than 50% Director and C-suite attendees, ITW attracts a truly world-class audience of global leaders and decision-makers spending the week consolidating existing partnerships and sealing new deals. With close ties to the Global Leaders’ Forum (GLF), ITW is at the forefront of the industry’s transformation enabling key conversations for senior executives at an international level.