British research firm opens SA office

12 November 2009

UK-based communications research company Informa Telecoms & Media is to open a new office in Johannesburg, giving it direct access to the fast-growing African telecommunications market.

Africa, with the launch of new submarine cables, as well as increased interest in mergers and acquisitions, is becoming a high priority for both new players and more established operators from all over the world.

“Given the nature of the African market, we feel that now is the perfect time to open an office in the region,” Informa Telecoms & Media MD Martin Hill said in a statement this week.

“By having an office in such a strategic location, we’re adding to our primary research capability and ensuring we remain the best-connected, most reliable research house in the market.”

Getting closer to markets

South Africa was chosen due to its importance in region, both in the field of telecoms and in the economy in general.

“We are constantly striving to get even closer to the markets that we serve and recognise the importance of having analysts on the ground in all regions around the world,” Hill said.

“We know that only by having a dedicated team specialised in a specific geography, and with the relevant local network of contacts and language skills, can we credibly ensure our research delivers the granular insights demanded by our global portfolio of clients.”

‘Significant opportunity’

The office will be headed up by Thecla Mbongue, a senior analyst who has been covering the African market for six years.

“The African market still represents a significant opportunity for investors. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew by 126% year-on-year in [the second quarter of 2009], and when the new submarine cables go live, the competition and price reduction will see data connectivity, whether fixed or mobile, continue to grow,” Mbongue explained.

“This is a critical time for the region and I look forward to providing crucial support and advice to the region’s telecoms and media industry.”

SAinfo reporter

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