Anti-competitive consolidation in the local ICT (Information & Communications Technology) sector is a major threat to business and consumers who risk being stripped of the hard-won freedom to choose their telecoms provider.
From the dark days of the Telkom monopoly, legislative and regulatory victories saw South Africa emerge in the 2000s as a bastion of free ICT competition.
In 2023, business communication and managed services provider ICTGlobe.com is sounding a warning that the country’s smaller voice and data operators are being devoured by large players at an alarming rate.
“Lacklustre economic growth, telecoms market maturity and pressure on margins has seen dozens of ICT SMEs folding or being rolled into bigger operators. That’s tremendously bad for both business and end consumers who remain under pressure and need greater, not less, competition to deliver affordable voice and data services,” says Rad Jankovic, co-CEO ICTGlobe.com.
With growth in the SA Information and Communications Technology industry recently measured at just 0.3%, according to the latest State of the ICT Sector Report, ICTGlobe.com launched its Virtual Service Provider model as a way for smaller ICT firms to expand their product portfolio and stay in business, independently.
The model provides a combination of Platform, Software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service all provided in modular form and based on client needs.
“No jobs-generating, GDP-boosting SME should be forced to sell their soul to survive. Not every small business owner wants to sell up and join the competition as a small cog in an enormous wheel. With Virtual Service Provider, we’ve developed a way for smaller ICT firms to offer revenue-boosting ISP services without the need for expensive new investments,” explains Jankovic.
A small ICT firm wanting to offer ISP services must face the significant barrier to entry of significant investment into infrastructure, technical resources, systems and platforms, as well as being forced to sign individual agreements with every fibre operator and there are minimum commitments involved before the small firm is allowed onto these networks, or before it can get access to pricing that allows it to compete.
Without needing to commit to huge upfront traffic volumes, Virtual Service Provider enables the smaller operator to stay independent and immediately compete with the larger players.
ICTGlobe.com provides modular and scalable access to ICT products and services, infrastructure, billing systems, voice platforms, technical maintenance and more required to offer ISP services.
This is a turnkey way for any reseller or any other type of small ICT sector firm to become a virtual provider of voice and data services aimed at corporates, other SMEs and the individual consumer.
“Importantly, ICTGlobe.com can also take care of the potential headache of customer billing so that the SME can focus on the important task of growing the business through ongoing sales, marketing and personalised customer care which has traditionally been a strength of smaller firms,” concludes Jankovic.
Finally, the Virtual Service Provider model enables the smaller ICT firm to get access to a well-developed, voice, data and value-added services network which means improved margins and excellent customer experience right from the start.
ICTGlobe.com has historically been an exceptional firm due to its ability to innovate in a very commoditised space.
With its distribution channel of over 900 business partners in South Africa, SADC countries as well as a presence in the UK and Cyprus, ICTGlobe.com’s renewed vision is to enable customers and business partners to achieve their growth aspirations through innovative ICT products and services, delivered through a unique implementation framework.
This year, ICTGlobe.com is building on that vision and culture with dynamic executive and management teams, and a renewed focus on innovation led by outstanding offerings like Virtual Service Provider.
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