Broadcast, Interactive, Internet and Hybrid TV in Africa (TVA): Conference and Exhibition (4-8 July 2011 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa)

I will not be involved in this conference for the reasons set out in this weblog article.

In just over a month thee “Broadcast, Interactive, Internet and Hybrid TV in Africa (TVA): Conference and Exhibition” (4-8 July 2011 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa) will be underway.  The line up of speakers is impressive including:

  • Adoulkarim Soumaila, Secretary General, African Telecommunications Union
  • Henning Viljoen, United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  • Bridget Linzie, Communications Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa
  • Dr Steven Ncube, Chairman ICASA, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa
  • Phineas Moleele, CEO Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa
  • Peter Griffiths – Interactive Editor, Carte Blanche
  • CEOs and leadership from suppliers and operators including Vodacom, Multichoice, Wananachi, Huawei, Alticast, UEC, Verimatrix, BCX, Limelight, Antfarm, IMPALA, and lots more.

What’s impressed me is the seniority and breadth of presenters both nationally and internationally, with the UN Development organization, the African Telecommunications Union, all relevant regulatory bodies, operators from the fixed, mobile and broadcast industries, suppliers across the ecosystem, and content owners and producers.  Normally a conference of several thousand people is required to have such quality of attendees, while this conference enables a far more successful networking and valuable conversation to be had.  With over 140 registrations so far it looks like this conference will become a regular feature on the TV conference circuit.

The conference structure is:

  • 1 day pre-conference workshop “Evolution of TV Delivery: IPTV, Hybrid and OTT TV”
  • 2 day conference (high quality single stream conference to ensure attendees gather all information from independent experts and industry leaders)
  • In parallel a 2 day exhibition for attendees to meet local and global suppliers and discuss their specific opportunities, needs and opportunities.
  • 1 day post-conference workshop “Content Delivery Networks”

Africa is a unique and under-served market with respect to TV, with a population of over 1 billion and most probably the fastest growing Digital TV market in the world for the next decade.  In the previous decade Africa was the fastest growing mobile market, and recently reached 500M subscribers.  Africa is wealthier than India. Urbanization is the dominant demographic trend, 52 cities have a population of more than a million.  That’s the same number as Europe and more than China. 40% of Africans live in cities, the same number as China and greater than India. About 90 million people earn more than $5k (USD) per year, a level of income which allows more than half to be spent on non-food items, that is discretionary spending, a critical sign of long-term prosperity as it drives consumer-led spending (see America’s economy for evidence of what can be achieved). Africa has a greater number of households earning more than $20k per year than India.  There are 1B consumers on the African continent. At current prices, African consumer spending is around $1T per year, which is larger than that of Russia or India.

Most multinationals serve the 150 million ‘Africa 1’ market of the upper middle class and above, leaving a 500 million ‘Africa 2’ middle-market that is vastly under-served.  This is comparable in purchasing power to their equivalent in India and China.  The relative lack of traditional infrastructure in many market segments creates opportunities for broadcast and communications technologies to innovate in sectors normally blocked by incumbents in more mature markets.

The benefits of attending are clear:

  • Meet and network with the leading figures of the emerging TV ecosystems from Africa and internationally;
  • Understand the key findings from other markets in their digital switch off, the impact of over the top services, and migration to hybrid TV services.
  • Develop a detailed understand of the TV market around the world and their impact and relevance to the African market  through in-depth pre- and post- conference workshops.
  • Attend a quality conference organized by industry veterans focused on bringing a unique blend of industry leaders to discuss what will happen to TV in Africa.
  • Understand the emerging strategies across the whole of the TV ecosystem from content creation through networks and devices to over the top services and content delivery.
  • Africa is the last high growth market in the world, and its time has potentially come for a consumer-driven explosion in consumption aided by the low transaction costs of interactive TV technologies.

I look forward to seeing you there.  I’ll be running the pre-conference workshop entitled “Evolution of TV Delivery: IPTV, Hybrid and OTT TV”, and giving a presentation on “Digital TV Successes and Failures.”