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    Thought leadership
    16 February 2016

    Vodacom

    Driving the digital economy

    Mobile devices and access to the internet have had a major economic impact on virtually all industries.

    The proliferation of smartphones and the growth of digital infrastructure in the form of high-speed mobile networks and broadband internet are some of the key drivers behind the growth of the digital economy across the globe.


    This digital technology is making it possible for customers to engage with service providers, retailers and governments using mobile – and online – tools.

    Payment

    Non-traditional payment solutions, outside of the traditional banking sphere, are also on the rise. Tools such as mPesa, Snapscan, Zapper and the many other mobile payment solutions available are making it possible to buy goods and pay accounts at the touch of a button.

    Non-traditional payment solutions, outside of the traditional banking sphere, are also on the rise. Tools such as mPesa, Snapscan, Zapper and the many other mobile payment solutions available are making it possible to buy goods and pay accounts at the touch of a button.

    These tools are enabling businesses to accept payments more easily, both online and on the move. In Cape Town for example, you can pay for your street parking using Snapscan on your mobile device.

    But it’s not just making it easier to conduct online transactions. Technology is changing the face of entire industries. 

    Apps like AirBnB and Uber have had a massive impact on the hospitality and taxi industries by putting the power to transact directly in consumers’ hands.

    Music

    The music industry has been completely transformed by the rise of digital technology. Browsing for the latest album in a brick and mortar music store is a thing of the past as you’re now able to listen to and buy music entirely online.

    You can browse a digital store, pay using your mobile phone and listen to music on any device. New forms of music delivery, such as streaming music service Deezer, give you access to millions of tracks, anywhere any time, rendering the traditional retail space obsolete.

    Healthcare

    Mobile health solutions are giving people in rural areas access to much better healthcare. Solutions in this area, such as Vodacom m-Health, are already mature and are likely to become increasingly critical as solutions are adopted more widely.

    Education

    E-learning solutions can help South Africans and Africans leapfrog key education challenges such as access to quality teachers and lack of infrastructure. By introducing tablets into schools, backed up by good educational resources and reliable internet, all children have the potential to receive the same level of schooling, regardless of their location.

    Vodacom e-school, for example, is zero-rated, meaning that anyone with access to a mobile device can benefit from wide resources without paying for data, while Vodacom m-Education is aimed at empowering teachers and educational institutions with 21st-century technology. 

    M2M

    The growth of the Internet of Things and a world in which connected devices extend beyond smartphones to include everything from trucks to lifts in smart buildings, the ability to collect and analyse data is making processes far more efficient.Vodacom is of course offering various services in the Machine-to-Machine arena as well. 

    As supporting infrastructure, including hardware, software and networks improve, the growth of e-business and e-commerce is only going to increase. Businesses who want to succeed into the future can only benefit by embracing the possibilities that technology offers. 

    About Vodacom Business 

    Vodacom Business delivers total communication solutions to meet the needs of the public sector, large, medium and small enterprises. Vodacom Business offers solutions that extend from mobile to fixed line access, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Voice over IP (VoIP), hosted facilities, cloud computing-based hosted services, storage, back up, security and application solutions.

    For more information visit www.vodacombusiness.co.za 

    Vodacom