Last year, Alan Masarek made news as he left Google to become Vonage’s new CEO.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems have taken a strong hold in developed markets such as North America, Europe, and Asia. Now VoIP providers have broadened their horizons to search for new markets. Much of this market exploration has turned towards Africa, a continent with a communication network that is overwhelmingly controlled by cellular phone networks. VoIP providers are confident that as these emerging markets develop further, large businesses will embrace the cost savings that VoIP phone services provide.
A large part of this newfound interest in Africa is focused on Nigeria. This is a country rich in natural resources with a rapidly expanding economy. Companies in the banking and energy industries include many branches and satellite offices which demands an advanced communications network. Many large businesses have arisen in this emerging market, while telecommunication providers have failed to keep up with demand. cellular service, which has become very popular in Africa, doesn't serve the needs of a large business properly or cost effectively. Fixed telephony, once thought dead in Nigeria, has found new life as demand for VoIP rises. VoIP providers have begun offering their affordable, feature rich services to these large businesses, and they have been well received.
The need for affordable and capable telephony has has encouraged these developing markets to reinvest in fixed-line infrastructure that consists of broadband internet connection. This investment in broadband infrastructure, rather than analog telephone lines, provides countries with two services for the price of one. Businesses and cities in these developing countries will gain access to cheap, more effective VoIP phone systems, while also gaining widespread internet connectivity. With increased internet access, countries become more connected with the world, and gain access to the wealth of information online. By laying broadband internet connection lines, countries will see an increased national return on investment thanks to the versatility of a broadband line. The lack in current telephony infrastructure allows these countries to bypass outdated systems and begin with a more effective broadband internet fixed-line system. Both businesses and residents will be able to take advantage of the VoIP telephone systems that so much of the world already enjoys, at a fraction of the price of cell phone carriers charge.
As a growing market, Africa must take advantage of every cost saving measure they can, communications included. VoIP providers have such a large market to fill in Africa, that it is only a matter of time until the flood gates open and large businesses all over this developing continent welcome VoIP and all of its capabilities. VoIP providers can play a key role in drastically accelerating the development of large businesses in Africa through the cost saving and productivity increasing power of VoIP phone systems.