#TechTalkThursday | MVNOs On the Rise:  A Deep Dive into MVNO Nation Africa 2024 with Insights from Justyna Topczewska

Although this will mark the first time MVNO Nation will be held within the shores of Africa, Justyna Topczewska, shared her enthusiasm about bringing this successful event from Europe to Africa, emphasizing the positive changes and opportunities in the region.

As we gear up for the much-anticipated MVNO Nation Africa 2024, we bring you a special edition of TechTalk Thursday, featuring insights from our chat with Justyna Topczewska, Director of MVNO Nation. The event, which will take place next week, at the prestigious Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel in Cape Town, from July 16-17, 2024, is set to be a landmark gathering for the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) community in Africa. 

MVNO Nation Africa 2024: Connecting for Growth and Innovation

MVNOs are experiencing significant growth in Africa, with the industry’s penetration steadily increasing across the continent. In Nigeria alone, 43 new MVNO firms are anticipated to enter the market. South Africa, too, is witnessing remarkable expansion, with the number of MVNO SIMs in use rising to 4.3 million in 2023—a phenomenal 51% increase compared to 2022. The market in South Africa is currently valued at R4.3 billion. Projections from Africa Analysis suggest that the number of SIMs could reach 10 million by 2028, and potentially 13.5 million with the inclusion of large retail brands. This robust growth highlights the critical need for a dedicated platform like MVNO Nation Africa, which facilitates connections and fosters the development of the MVNO ecosystem in the region.

MVNO Nation Africa 2024 is the first African edition of the renowned MVNO Nation event, traditionally held in Europe. With the mission of connecting Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) with the partners they need to thrive, this event is timely, considering the rapid growth and positive changes in the African MVNO market.

Although this will mark the first time MVNO Nation will be held within the shores of Africa, Justyna Topczewska, shared her enthusiasm about bringing this successful event from Europe to Africa, emphasizing the positive changes and opportunities in the region.

MVNO Nation was born with the mission of connecting MVNOs worldwide with partners they need to flourish, to accelerate their businesses. And there’s pretty much no better time to support the MVNO ecosystem in Africa as there have been so many positive changes in recent years…The penetration of MvNOS is steadily rising across the continent. with over 40 new MVNO licenses awarded in Nigeria last year. The market in South Africa is projected to be worth nearly $85 million by the end of this year, reflecting its rapid growth.

Justyna Topczewska, Director, MVNO Nation

What to Expect at MVNO Nation Africa 2024

The event will feature over 20 hours of learning and discussion, designed to foster collaboration and innovation among attendees. The agenda includes a diverse range of sessions, case studies, and networking opportunities aimed at exploring the unique opportunities and challenges faced by MVNOs in Africa.

Topczewska emphasized the importance of digitalization, a key theme for the event. 

“One of the biggest themes for MVNOs is digitalization. So we’ll be focusing on that a lot. It is very crucial for the audience to not miss the digitalization sessions from the leading companies in the market that are helping MVNOs to digitalize,” she noted in our conversation. 

Attendees can look forward to in-depth discussions on how digital-first models, advanced data automation, and eSIM technology are transforming the MVNO landscape. The event will also address the pressing need to bridge the digital divide in rural areas and create a regulatory framework that supports fair competition and industry sustainability.

Highlighting Key Sessions and Speakers

MVNO Nation Africa 2024 boasts an impressive lineup of sessions and speakers. Topczewska highlighted some notable case studies and key sessions from the agenda, reflecting the broad support from the MVNO community.

“We’ve received great support from the MVNO community, so it’s a bit hard to pick up just a few sessions. But I would like to highlight some of the great MVNO case studies from South Africa, such as Standard Bank Mobile, FNB Connect, Melon Mobile, and Next Communications,” she shared.

Key sessions will also feature discussions on digitalization led by companies like NetEngage, Dowspace, CSG, Amdocs, and Data Communication. These sessions will provide valuable insights into how MVNOs can leverage technology to launch quickly, personalize their offerings, and streamline their operations.

Networking Opportunities: Building Strategic Partnerships

Networking is a cornerstone of MVNO Nation Africa 2024, with the event designed to facilitate meaningful connections and partnerships. Justyna explained the event’s unique approach to networking, ensuring a balanced mix of MVNOs, operators, and solution providers.

We design our events in a very special way. We pay a lot of attention to the audience ratio. So our audiences consist of 65% of MVNOs and operators and 35% of solution providers, which we found out is the perfect balance for networking on-site.

Justyna Topczewska, Director, MVNO Nation

The event will include various networking functions, including speed networking, informal receptions, and working groups. This setup ensures that all attendees have ample opportunities to connect, share ideas, and explore potential collaborations.

Success Stories and Industry Impact

MVNO Nation events are renowned for being platforms where significant partnerships and advancements occur. Topczewska shared that many aspiring MVNOs have found matching solution partners at past events, enabling them to launch successfully. Established MVNOs have also leveraged these events to add new services and differentiate their offerings.

“What I can say is that a lot of aspiring MVNOs found matching solution partners at our events and were able to launch shortly after. A lot of well-established MVNOs were also able to find partners to add new services to their offerings and differentiate,” Justyna Topczewska also highlighted in our chat.

This year’s event will focus on several hot topics and key discussions that are shaping the future of the MVNO market in Africa. Digitalization, differentiation, and the integration of FinTech solutions will be central themes.  She emphasized the importance of these topics, particularly in the African context.

“We can see that MVNOs are now able to launch their services much quicker and be more flexible thanks to the advancements in technologies. Another important topic is differentiation. That’s why we bring various case studies to demonstrate how MVNOs can enhance their offerings, what new services they can add on, and also what kind of new customer groups they can cater to,” she explained.

The relationship between MVNOs and FinTech, especially in terms of payment solutions and banking, will also be a significant focus, highlighting how these synergies can drive growth and innovation in the sector.

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