Africa Tech Festival is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

8 - 12 November 2021
Virtual Event

8 - 12 November 2021
Virtual Event

Most Innovative Product or Service Award

Voting is now open!

This Award recognises a game-changing product or service that has provided it's target market with significant new opportunities for revenue growth or customer satisfaction.

WINNER

Mauritius Telecom & Huawei

“my.t 360°” Digital Operation

Mauritius Telecom (MT) and Huawei partnered to develop the “my.t 360°”, an innovative solution that combines the latest technologies in customer experience management and intelligent operations to digitize the full journey of each MT customer providing 360° real-time, automation, multi-dimensional customer insight to drive customer satisfaction and revenue growth.

As a fully convergent communications and content provider, Mauritius Telecom has embarked since 2015 on a digital transformation journey putting innovation at the core of Company’s actions in order to drive inclusion, simplification and value-creation to its customers. MT offers a broad portfolio of products and services in MBB, FBB, TV and Fintech managed by different departments and systems. Under this ‘siloed’ operational model, carriers like MT who are on the path to becoming Digital Services Providers face innumerous challenges to integrate various product offerings into a holistic customer value proposition. An extremely powerful catalyst in this transformation and often a precursor to structural organizational change is to create a culture of “holistic customer centricity”, where the journeys and experiences of the customer are at the forefront of every department’s thinking.

In order to achieve this Huawei has developed the customer’s “360° view” as a service to Carriers. Using advanced big data systems, automation and combining outputs of multiple often siloed systems, the solution presents a holistic view of customers, their behaviors and service levels while correlating it real-time with the network resources. Customer data and privacy are protected and never compromised whatsoever.

The adoption of this solution as a catalyst to organizational and digital transformation of carriers is becoming a significant factor in creating synergies, operational efficiency and improved services levels, now having a direct effect on the bottom line of many Carriers in Africa.

SHORTLIST

BLOOW

BLOOW is a self-sustaining ecosystem built around music, a dynamic, innovative network that aims to revolutionize the music industry and create new opportunities for Africans. 

Upcoming artists face extreme challenges in order to break into the music industry, such as a lack of support and guidance that would allow them a good foundation to succeed. BLOOW simplifies this process by enabling artists to penetrate the industry and explore their craft.  

The ecosystem allows artists to leverage support from their immediate networks, eliminating red tape and cutting out the middleman. The platform promotes the empowerment of artists and leverages on block chain technology through NFT’s, immersive technology such as VR and AR, Artificial intelligence and the first of its kind online store that maps out the entire music industry making it convenient for everyone in the system.  

Decagon

Addressing the underrepresentation of Africans in tech globally through software development opportunities.

Decagon is addressing the underrepresentation of Africans in tech by combining lending, training, and placement to help to transform exceptional people, often from under-represented backgrounds, into world-class engineers by connecting them with financing, in-demand skills, and their dream jobs.
 
Operating at the intersection of FinTech, EdTech, and the Future of Work, Decagon created Nigeria’s first-ever merit-based student loans in partnership with Sterling Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria. This enables Decagon to offer a Pay-After-Learning (PAL) plan which provides trainees with laptops, accommodation, internet, meal allowance, and a sustenance stipend without any upfront payment. This has proven very popular with over 80 thousand people applying to the program from which 440 have been accepted so far.
 
Upon completion of the training, Decagon places these top 0.5% of vetted engineering talent in Africa and connects them to global tech opportunities, serving leading companies in Austin, New York City, Atlanta, Berlin, London, and Lagos.  

MTN

MTN transformed to a truly customer-centric organization by implementing 5G digital operations to assure best 5G user experience powered by Huawei 5G SmartCare Solution.

MTN recognize the need of comprehensive insight big data, holistic experience of subscribers, data analytics-driven operations to drive sound business decisions within the organization to achieve the digital network planning, precise network investment, NOC to SOC operation transformation, digital customer care analytics, and precise digital marketing.


Delivering Best-in-class Customer Experience is all about enabling efficient process by enhancing digital operation capability, monitoring Per-Service-Per-User experience and ensure to deliver best 5G customer experience to MTN customer base.


MTN implemented digital operations, which includes ‘state-of-the-art’ customer experience measurement processes, implementing proactive processes like: customer & service experience driven network planning & optimization to improve 5G user experience by deploying Huawei Customer Experience Management platform.


Introducing ‘Customer-First Culture’ by enhancing reactive care processes in Customer Care teams with state-of-the-art tools delivering E2E 5G customer experience visibility to respond customer complaints efficiently.


Empowering marketing department with advanced analytics to implement innovative strategies. for example: encouraging 2G3G users to use MTN 4G/5G for improved experience, personalized offers, innovative product/tariff design increasing Customer Lifetime Value on MTN network.


Today MTN implemented proactive processes and transformed to a truly customer centric operations organization. MTN invested in Huawei 5G solution to help overcome 5G precise optimization, transformation challenges, get unified, early visibility into the applications and services risks while addressing complex 5G technology issues.

PCCW Global

Console Connect

Console Connect by PCCW Global is the world’s first platform for Software-Defined Interconnection®, providing African businesses with an easier, faster and more secure way to directly connect to clouds, applications and other business partners.  

The platform uses the latest network automation software technology to orchestrate connectivity across PCCW Global’s high-speed, private MPLS network, allowing users with minimal technical ability to quickly spin-up virtual private connections. These connections bypass the public Internet and are instead delivered across a dedicated high-performance network that provides significant security benefits and lower levels of latency.  

During the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses in Africa were able to use Console Connect to rapidly scale their network services to respond to sudden spikes in demand for connectivity and bandwidth.  

At the same time, the platform is helping businesses inside and outside of the region interconnect with Africa’s emerging cloud and data centre ecosystem. Users of the platform can interconnect seamlessly between key data centres in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Djibouti, with new locations being added throughout 2021.  

As businesses in Africa accelerate their adoption of cloud services, Console Connect is providing them with enhanced access to all the world’s major public cloud providers. Using the platform, businesses can instantly spin-up direct connections to public cloud platforms located throughout Europe, North America and Asia, and manage and monitor those connections in near real-time.  

The Console Connect partner ecosystem has accelerated rapidly over the last 12 months, with all hyper-scale cloud providers now directly integrated with the platform and many new SaaS, IX, IoT and UCaaS partners being on-boarded. The platform is truly global and provides businesses in Africa with on-demand international connectivity to over 500 data centres in more than 50 countries worldwide.  

New features and on-demand services are continuously being added to Console Connect, which is designed in-house by a team of software developers based in Brisbane, Australia.  

In the last 12 months, a new remote peering solution, called IX-as-a-Service, has been introduced to the platform, while a growing number of third party services are also available to order through the platform’s new MeetingPlace feature.  


Overall, Console Connect is helping business in Africa:  

  • Avoid lengthy provisioning times and facilitate flexible term contracts 

  • Reduce network and connectivity costs by only paying for what you use 

  • Accelerate time to market with automated provisioning 

  • Provide a high-quality, uncontended, low-latency network backed by a stringent SLA 

  • Ensure enhanced security by using private connections that avoid the public Internet 

  • Simplify hybrid and multi-cloud management by connecting multiple clouds from a single port 

Telkom SA & Huawei

Telkom SA & Huawei Build Africa's Top1 VoLTE Commercial Network


Telkom SA serves 16M mobile users, including 5.8M 4G users and 10M 2G/3G users. By partnering with Huawei to commercialise VoLTE from 2018, Telkom have achieved the following:

  • Improve user experience. VoLTE is a voice communication technology based on the LTE network. Compared with 3G networks, VoLTE provides higher-quality video calls, clearer voice, and faster call connection (It takes about 1s to connect a VoLTE-to-VoLTE call) and advantage of concurrent of voice and data service.
  • Radio re-farming drives VoLTE. Because of insufficient 4G spectrum resource, Telkom try to migrate the voice service from 3G to LTE, then they will re-farm UMTS spectrum to LTE and improve. VoLTE is the key strategy of it. 

  • 5G Strategy. 5G era, VoLTE is the fundamental voice solution, so Telkom need build a solid voice foundation (with high VoLTE penetration ratio) before they launch 5G SA. 

  • 2G Sunset. VoLTE can speed up the user migration from 2G/3G to 4G, and make it possible that shutdown 2G radio and re-farm 2G spectrum for 4G/5G. 


By the end of Sept. 2021, VoLTE subscribers of Telkom reached 3.5M, the largest VoLTE network in Africa. 

iSpace Foundation

iSpace Foundation is a technology hub in Ghana known to offer a co-working space, tools and facilities for entrepreneurs and startups to launch and manage their business ideas. The organisation has been operating since 2013, and is the first locally owned hub in Ghana.

Orange

Mahali Mobile Application

The development of e-commerce in emerging countries is still facing a fundamental pitfall: the absence or lack of structuring of addressing systems. Due to the lack of a precise or complete postal address, delivering products is a risky business—at the moment, half of all deliveries cannot be made. Orange, with the launch of its Mahali mobile application offers a simple, digital and innovative response to this problem.


Although e-commerce is now a standard component of everyday life for hundreds of millions of people, its development varies by region. Particularly in Africa, the growth of digital sales remains constrained—among other things—by payment and delivery issues in countries where the use of banks is not widespread and addressing systems are not necessarily advanced. This is where Orange decided to launch Mahali, which means “place” in Swahili language.


This digital location service is tailored to the local practices of buyers, sellers and delivery men. In countries where people tend to indicate their position by using a location description and referring to landmarks, Mahali translates this habit into a simple mobile application. The service incorporates a database of locations which is fueled in part by the users themselves, who can provide their address by indicating the town, district and landmarks with photos.


The service aims to be widely used, starting with the informal merchants and delivery men who are looking for accessible, simple and efficient digital tools to develop their business. An interface with Orange Money has been also developed to secure the act of payment on delivery.
And in addition to being used for e-commerce, the address created on the application can be used for other purposes such as guiding emergency services or visitors to the address.
Mahali responds to an essential need and delivers a real benefit to citizens by providing them a digital address for all their needs. Although Mahali was first launched in Ivory Coast, the lack of postal address is not specific to Africa and the service could also be useful for the 4 billion people in the world without addresses.


Currently in its beta version, Mahali is intended to grow and offer new functionalities to its users. Artificial Intelligence is already used to moderate user photos, but the team wants to go further and is working on data analysis to simplify and automatize the description of locations comprehensible for the local users.


Following a beta version, the commercial launch will take place in Ivory Coast in H2 2021 and will be followed by other African countries in 2022.


Finally, Mahali will be fully integrated in the Orange Money application and will therefore be available for Orange Money users. With over 50 million Orange Money users in MEA, Mahali will be accessible to a large audience and democratize e-commerce usage in Africa.