In November, US mobile communication technology firm TeleCommunication Systems announced that it had opened a new sales office in South Africa to serve as the focal point of the company’s marketing and sales activities throughout Africa.
The group appointed Andy Minnaar to serve as MD of the new office, and take responsibility for the operation and sales of the company’s complete line of commercial software solutions, including location-based services (LBS).
In a Q&A with BusinessTech, Joe Hannan, TeleCommunication Systems group VP of location products, explains.
What presence does TeleCommunication Systems already have in Africa, and more specifically SA?
TeleCommunication Systems has had solutions deployed in Africa for a number of years through our channel partners, specifically in Nigeria and South Africa.
With our growing experience and market understanding, we felt it was important to have a direct presence, to both support our channel partners and to develop relationships with the wireless carriers and business partners.
What plans does the company have in SA, and Africa – are there particular countries on the continent the company hopes to target initially?
The office we have established in Johannesburg will of course continue to support our channel partners, but also strengthen our position through closer proximity to customers and will help address the specific and significant market opportunities in the Location Ecosystem in Africa.
At the recent AfricaCom trade show in Cape Town, we officially launched our Hosted LBS solution, which will be available in early 2013.
The Hosted LBS solution will enable wireless carriers in the region to deploy LBS solutions without upfront CapEx requirements. For a modest set-up fee, wireless carriers in the region can deploy LBS and pay based on usage.
What growth targets has TeleCommunication Systems set for itself in SA and the rest of Africa in terms in the short-mid-term?
We believe that the hosted LBS offer will be very attractive to the region and we are already seeing tremendous interest.
While we cannot disclose our internal goals, this region represents a significant portion of our five-year growth projections for our LBS solutions.
What track record does TeleCommunication Systems have in emerging markets?
TeleCommunication Systems has a comprehensive offering of mobile and satellite communication installations worldwide.
We have successfully supported similar opportunities in Central and South America, where we have had both in network and hosted LBS deployments.