Empowering Telco Operators in Africa: Protei’s Vision and Strategic Approach 

Discover how Protei is shaping the future of telecommunications in Africa with flexible solutions and local empowerment strategies.

At GITEX Africa 2024, TechAfrica News had the privilege to speak with Vladimir Freinkman, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Protei. In this discussion, Freinkman provided deep insights into Protei’s strategic approach to telecom operations in Africa. He highlighted the challenges faced by operators in the region, emphasized the significance of offering flexible and affordable solutions, and discussed Protei’s commitment to fostering local competence and empowering telecom operators.

Freinkman emphasized that Protei views Africa as a promising region with vast potential for growth. Despite the slower pace of development compared to other regions, Protei is committed to dedicating significant resources to develop and support its business in Africa. At GITEX Africa 2024, Protei showcased a diverse range of products designed to meet the needs of mobile operators and industries across the continent. 

“We view Africa as a very promising region, and we are dedicating significant attention and effort to developing our business here. Although growth in Africa might not be as rapid as we would like, we see huge potential and many successful projects. We are optimistic about the future steps we will take in this market.”

Vladimir Freinkman, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Protei

Discussing the challenges operators face in Africa due to the increasing demand for high-quality internet at affordable prices, Freinkman pointed out that many operators are heavily reliant on a few giant vendors, which restricts their choices and hinders network growth. Protei’s range of platforms offers operators the flexibility to develop their networks in a way that promotes competition and better serves their customers.

Highlighting the distinct market dynamics in Africa, he explained that the continent has seen a rapid increase in data consumption, despite a decline in Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). This presents a unique challenge for operators who need to manage high growth with low ARPU. He emphasized that affordable and high-quality internet access is essential for users, comparable to the necessity of electricity.

Freinkman outlined the critical role of private LTE and 5G networks in Protei’s product offerings, particularly for the B2B segment. He mentioned that industries such as mining, oil, and gas are significant in Africa and are prime candidates for private networks due to their potential to enhance operational efficiency. Protei’s solutions are tailored to be affordable and effective for local customers, making them a compelling choice in the competitive African market.

He elaborated on the various models for deploying private networks in different regions and emphasized that while some regions prefer a managed services approach, Protei’s strategy in Africa focuses on fostering local competence and enabling operators to manage their networks independently. This approach aligns with the expectations of many local operators who prefer to maintain control over their own networks.

“In Africa, Protei prefers not to insist on a managed services approach. We value local competence and encourage operators to manage their networks independently. This model aligns well with the expectations of many local operators who prefer to have control and knowledge over their own networks. While this approach might mean less revenue for us from managed services, it fosters greater operator autonomy and aligns with our goal of sharing knowledge and building operator capabilities.”

Vladimir Freinkman, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Protei 

Expressing a positive view on the transformation of telecom operators into more technology-oriented companies, Freinkman believes that as operators enhance their technological capabilities, it creates more opportunities for companies like Protei to support this transformation with advanced products and services. He emphasized that strong connectivity remains crucial, as it forms the foundation for all other services.

By offering flexible and affordable solutions, fostering local competence, and supporting operator autonomy, Protei is positioned to drive significant advancements in the African telecom market. 

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