GTS-Infotel set to drive Nigeria’s ICT to new heights
Global Telecom Services (GTS)-Infotel Nigeria, through its Managing Director, Dr. Ing. Pierre- François Kamanou, has said that his firm is set to drive the nation’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) to new heights with the introduction of virtual mobile numbers services (also called longcodes) by bridging the gap between Information Technologies (IT) networks and Telecoms networks.
According to him, the virtual mobile numbers are to enable any type and size of Businesses to enjoy the full benefits of ICT services by deploying their communication services and other value added services on the same IT networks used for their data and web services. ‘The merger is an innovation in the industry’ he stated.
Buttressing this point, Kamanou said, ‘Presently, Telecom Value Added Services (VAS) Business in Africa is restricted to Shortcode services which were introduced to Nigeria in 2005 by MNOs for the purpose of providing mobile content services to their own mobile subscribers’. He identified Toll-free SMS shortcodes and Premium rated SMS shortcodes as two main types of Shortcodes for the distribution of digital content delivered over SMS, WAP or Web channel on revenue sharing basis.
He explained that while Toll-free SMS shortcodes are applicable to auto-renewal Content Subscription services on Direct Billing and are suitable for MNO’s branded content services, Premium rated SMS Shortcodes are applicable to on-demand SMS billing services across all the MNOs, suitable for all third party branded content services.
He added that ‘The target markets of the Premium SMS Shortcodes are limited to very few content service providers’. Therefore, he decried the decreasing market of Premium SMS Shortcodes for many reasons among which he pointed out ‘unfair revenue sharing formula applied by MNOs for the third party branded content services’.
While the Premium SMS Shortcodes market margin are on the decline in the industry, he observed that ‘the market of SMS Shortcodes subscription services are on the increase, representing over 90% of the total revenue generated by Shortcode services in the industry’.
Meanwhile, ‘There is an increasing demand for longcodes at toll-free or normal tariff services from various types of businesses. Longcodes are especially demanded for purposes in the domain of the cloud unified communication, multichannel call centre, mobile marketing campaigns and others. In the absence of solution offer to meet this emerging market needs, my objective, since the inception of GTS-Infotel Nigeria in 2005, was to position the company as a mobile VAS Operator rather than a VAS Provider’ Kamanou said.
Having foreseen the needs in the new market, now unfolding, it took GTS-Infotel Nigeria 10 years to obtain the Special Numbering Services licence from NCC, which is the prerequisite for the introduction of longcodes services in the market.