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VAS – African mobile market differs from Asia

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Mayank Sharma, Comviva Vice President

Asia leads Africa in some aspects of mobile VAS (Value Added Services), such as RBTs (Ring Back Tones), integration with radio and TV and SMS services, but the continent still needs to catchup with Africa in the mobile money arena. This is according to Mayank Sharma, Comviva Vice President and Head of Africa Market.

Sharma compared the African and Asian markets during an interview with ITNewAfrica.

Sharma says a major contributor to VAS services in Asia is RBTs. RBTs currently generate more revenue than what the music industry generates from the sales of music cd’s, cassettes and mp3s in Asia.

African VAS growth forecast

On the question of growth forecasts for the VAS market in Africa, Sharma says there will be an entire mix that will grow the continent’s revenue streams.

“A lot of countries are maturing in Africa in terms of mobile penetration.  Typically more than 60% penetration will mean mobile maturity, which will result in price wars in voice. This means operators will have to look to non-voice aspects of the revenue mix to be boosted in order to drive profits.”

“We’re pretty excited about the entire bouquet of VAS services in Africa.  We strongly believe and we’ve seen all the indications that the contribution from VAS will continue to grow, even perhaps double in value in the next five years,” concludes Sharma.

Bontle Moeng


  1. This is really Interesting. Here in Tanzania telecommunication companies are making huge profits from VAS (Value Added Services), with more than 20 million subscribers buying Ring back tones. It has also become a great avenue for Advertizing and Announcing. Tanzania is now shining in IT solutions and I thank you Vice President Sharma

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