Comviva VP highlights key VAS trends in Africa


Mayank Sharma, Vice President, Africa Region, Comviva
Africa should not be seen as a homogenous market. VAS (Value Added Services) trends in Africa’s 55 countries and territories are often very different, but there are some conspicuous similarities that are prevalent on the continent. This is according to Mayank Sharma, Comviva Vice President and Head of Africa Market.

Sharma explored VAS trends on the continent in an interview with ITNewAfrica at the just concluded VAS Africa conference, held in Sandton, South Africa.

“Different VAS services have emerged in different markets. In Africa the most prominent trend currently is money,” says Sharma.

“Most operators are excited about money services such as M-pesa from Safaricom. When we consider the operator’s revenue other than voice, mobile money takes the lead,” Sharma explained.

Mobile Money

One of the most common VAS trends shaping the African market is mobile money. “Almost all global operators have launched mobile money services. This is an important socio-economic trend in Africa.

Mobile money reaches out to the unbanked and it’s transforming the way people live.  It’s good for operators and it’s good for people,” says Sharma.


Another important VAS trend is data. “The growth of data for every operator is tremendous. About 11% of the data revenue for operators is coming from Africa,” he added.

Traditionally messaging has been the largest contributor, but data is growing very quickly. Sharma warns that operators need to manage the cost associated with data efficiently.

“Revenue is growing but data is sometimes not as profitable as traditional voice due to stiff competition. Data prices have really been low in most markets in Africa.”

“Comviva is doing a lot of work in that area, with about 40% reduction in the cost of data platforms”, he added.


The third VAS mobile trend is lifestyle. The lifestyle VAS trend shows the emergence of SMS, USSD or voice products that cater for entertainment, for example TV voting competitions, Ring Back Tone (RBTs) and music on demand.

“In future we will see a different mix of portals being released in the market,” Sharma concluded.

Bontle Moeng


  1. I have the pleasure to brief you on our Data Visualization software.
    "Trend Compass".

    TC is a new concept in viewing statistics & trends in an animated way.
    by displaying in one chart 5 axis (X, Y, Time, Bubble size & Bubble.
    color) instead of just the traditional X and Y axis. Discover trends
    hidden in spreadsheets. It could be used in analysis, research,
    presentation etc. In different business sectors, to name a few we.
    have Deutsche Bank, NBC Universal, RIM, Vanguard Institutional.
    Investor, Ipsos, Princeton University as our clients.

    Link on Drilling feature (Parent/Child) – Just double-click on any bubble:

    NBC presentation on TED using Trend Compass exported Videos on CNN.

    Link on our new Geographical Trend Compass (Earthquake in Japan – Mag.
    vs Depth vs Time):

    Link on Ads Monitoring on TV Satellite Channels.

    Link on UK Master Card vs Visa performance :

    Links on Funds:

    Link on other KPIs :

    Link on Chile's Earthquake (Feb 27th 2010):

    Link on weather data :

    Bank link to compare Deposits, Withdrawals and numbers of Customers.
    for different branches over time:

    Misc Examples :

    Princeton University project on US unemployment :

    A video presentation by Professor Alan Krueger Bendheim Professor of.
    Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and currently.
    Chief Economist at the US Treasury:

    You can download a trial version. It has a feature to export.
    EXE, PPS, HTML and AVI files. The most impressive is the AVI since you.
    can record Audio/Video for the charts you create.

    Video on Trend Compass:

    Since we already develop 3D Virtual Reality applications, please find.
    below a link on a prototype for a new 3D VR Trend Compass application:


    Amr Salah
    Trend Compass Team.
    Epic Systems

Comments are closed.