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Mobile companies to give out voice services for free – MTN Executive predicts

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Farouk Ahmad
Farouk Ahmad

A senior executive of mobile provider, MTN has predicted that in the next five to ten years mobile telecoms companies would be offering voice services for free, as customer demands shift towards other non-voice products.

Ahmad Farouk, Vice President for MTN West and Central Africa made the prediction at the recently held  West & Central Africa Com, telecoms conference in Dakar, Senegal.

Later in an exclusive interview with ghanabusinessnews.com, he emphasised the fact, pointing out that, his prediction is based on the realities on the ground.

“The world is moving this way basically,” he said.

Asked if this was his opinion, he responded, “my opinion is based on what is going on in the world right now.”

The telecoms executive says he believes that consumers would drive the trend. “It is what consumers want,” he said.

“The youth are not interested in talking to each other any more. They are interested in Facebook , Twitter, and music,” he said.

Companies would have to derive their revenue from something different, like content, multimedia, advertising and so on, he said.

“The lifestyle of consumers would determine the trend, and for mobile companies not to be left behind, they have to provide these services to remain in business,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, a report released by Portio Research, and published by the website, Kiwanja.net, has projected that annual worldwide mobile messaging revenue will reach nearly $210 billion by the end of 2011, and smash $300 billion in 2014.

Portio Research Ltd is an independent UK-based research company, focussed on providing high quality market studies, the company has said on its website,

The report highlights among other things that  messaging currently accounts for the majority of global data revenues. It says messaging in 2011 will still be responsible for more than 60 percent of global data revenues; SMS and MMS alone will contribute a massive 55.7 percent to global data revenues in 2011.

According to the report SMS brings in 13 times more revenue than Apps.

“SMS alone generated $114.6 billion in 2010, and will reach $126.8 billion in 2011. Compare that to forecasted mobile broadband revenues ($ 58.1 billion in 2011) and mobile application revenues ($ 9.5 billion in 2011) and there is still much to get excited about in the world of mobile messaging,” it adds.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, back from Dakar, Senegal

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