Africa is poised to leap forward, unencumbered by legacy technologies and processes, and empowered by youthful demographics
SUBTONOMY, the leading Network Experience Platform provider in the Nordics, has announced that it will be attending AfricaCom in South Africa (8-10 November 2022) to bring its world-class digital customer support offering to Africa.

The African digital revolution

It’s time to reappraise Africa’s place in the global digital market. Long held back by affordability and availability issues, the advent of cheaper smartphones and ubiquitous, higher capacity mobile networks have provided a huge springboard for growth. Young, internet-savvy Africans are optimistic and opportunistic about tech, utilizing it as a platform for their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and thirst for education. Already the world leader in mobile money[1], Africa is poised to leap forward, unencumbered by legacy technologies and processes, and empowered by youthful demographics[2]. The continent’s rapid transition to a mobile-first, digital economy means that it already has more smartphone users than North America and by 2025 Sub-Saharan Africa will have 474 million internet users (39% of the population[3]).

New demands on the network, new customer expectations

Whether it’s using their phones for banking, finding work, shopping, creating, listening to music or watching their favorite shows, young Africans have moved far beyond their parents’ expectations of mobile services. While the future of the African mobile market may look rosy, it’s not without challenges, however. In the next few years, African operators will have to cope with onboarding large numbers of new customers[4] and find cost-effective ways to support them while they transition from 3G to 4G, from feature phones to smartphones, and from simple to complex service offerings.

As if all of this were not enough, the expectations of African Gen Z customers are also rising rapidly. Like their social media friends around the world, they expect high-quality uninterrupted services backed by world-class, 24/7 customer support when things go wrong. If they don’t get it, they’re more willing than ever to simply walk away[5].

And this is precisely where African operators can benefit from the experience of other mobile-first markets such as the Nordics. Operators in the Nordics have pioneered efficient and cost-effective digital customer care for years. Subtonomy’s customers, for example, are already able to automate 75% of customer support in digital channels, and increase contact center efficiency to deliver 60% fewer escalations and 47% faster call handling.

Future proofing support

With things moving so rapidly in Africa, it’s hard for operators to manage change cost-effectively or predict what their support operations will look like in a few years. Will future African customers have virtual reality-based support, or get help via their digital assistants? Whatever happens, operators must squeeze the maximum value out of their existing equipment to keep costs down and reduce disruption, while at the same time innovating their customer support offerings and preparing for what’s coming. Fortunately, there’s a win-win here as well. Subtonomy’s Network Equipment Platform takes data from any existing source – including legacy probes (eg Amdocs, Anritsu, Commprove, Empirix, Exfo, Polystar, Radcom, Tektronix, Teoco or Viavi), BSS and OSS, cell data and device data – to deliver a 360o real-time view of actual customer experience, empowering 24/7 holistic support.

“As the African mobile market matures, customers will expect better support from operators. As researcher Herring Shava[6] recently pointed out, two of the biggest causes of dissatisfaction with support are operators’ reliability (not doing things when they said they would) and responsiveness (not informing customers when they intend to fix problems). We’re proud to have helped our clients fix both these issues in the Nordics and look forward to helping African operators revolutionize the way they support their customers in future – giving them both happier customers and a competitive edge.” Andreas Jörbeck, CEO, Subtonomy 

To find out more about Subtonomy’s offering, operators are invited to meet with Subtonomy at AfricaCom 2022, Telcos of Tomorrow booth A52. Book a meeting here: APO Group rep ( [1] According to the GSMA, Africa accounts for 70% of the world’s $1 trillion mobile money transactions.

[2] Africa has the largest number of Gen Zers (also called ‘Zoomers’) in the world, and more than a billion people under the age of 35.

[3] Forecasts from GSMA.

[4] By 2025 the GSMA forecasts Africa will have 120 million new subscribers and 170 million new mobile internet users, taking the proportion of the population using mobile internet to 40%.

[5] According to a BrandsEye study (2019), 47.2% of the complaints raised by customers in South Africa were about the quality of customer service. Approximately 37% complained about the mobile network provider’s turnaround time, and 44.4% of the respondents complained about the network provider’s failure to attend to queries posted on social media. But in cases where the network provider did respond, 61% of consumers ended up being dissatisfied with the quality of service provided.

[6] See: H. Shava. Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction Experience Among South African Mobile Telecommunications Consumers. Walter Sisulu University. Published in Eurasian Journal of Business and Management, 9(3), 2021, 217-232.