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North Africa: Telecoms growth in Africa


Full of brains, highly energetic Fredrik Jejdling has held his current position since April 2013. He joined Ericsson in 2006 next having before been Director and Chief of Managed Capacity, Vice-president and Chief of Sales and Finance for Business Unit World Services.

He has excelled in senior positions while in LUX Asia Pacific, Singapore and LUX Australia spearheading the branding, strategy and product development team. Jejdling has as well held managerial positions with Tele 2 group, as General Manager for one of its subsidiaries.

In this exclusive interview with AKIN NAPHTAL, Jejdling shares Ericsson commitment in providing high quality connectivity solutions to hundreds of network operators, and thousands of businesses across Africa.

You have spent over six months on your current role, what is your assessment on telecoms increase in Africa?

There is nowhere else on earth where the impact of telecommunications is additional apparent in changing lives and shaping society than here on the African continent. The launch of mobile telecommunication revolutionised communication on a continent where there is little or no fixed telecoms infrastructure. We are presently among a mobile broadband revolution in Africa. This provides incomparable challenges and opportunities. Our research shows a significant increase the number of mobile broadband users, and the data that each user will consume. This will require 20-40 times the capacity available in today’s networks
Our key customers, the major mobile broadband operators on the continent, have become the majority significant brands on the continent, operating in some of the fastest growing most dynamic markets in the world.

What is Ericsson’s involvement in initiatives?

Today less than two-thirds of the world is connected. We imagine a world where everyone and everything that will benefit from a connection will have one. Ericsson, along with a number of prominent industry players, has developed the initiative to facilitate and speed up access to the internet.

There is a risk that the rate of connectivity slows down due to the economic challenges with connecting the less affluent segments of the people. An significant factor here is reduced costs for access to devices with internet access, such as smartphones. In the completed smartphone were considered a premium product. However, we see the introduction of sub-$100 smartphones driving mobile internet connectivity.
Can you tell additional about the New Regional Service and Competence Centres in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo?

Ericsson has been in Africa for over 100 years. We are constantly looking for new ways to leverage our world expertise in developing our local presence and capabilities

This is part of the rationale driving the opening of two new Regional Service and Competence Centres in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support managed services and the increase of data in the region.
We believe that this commitment is mutually beneficial. Estimating these centres in the region affords us the opportunity to take learnings from this incomparable market to the rest of the world.

With the huge request on data consumption, how is Ericsson supporting the operators in achieving optimum price?

In order to be successful, leading operators require a collaborative relationship with strategic partners. Our strategy is to enable this through access to superior technology, partnership based on shared opportunities for innovation aligned to our R&D investment of over $5 billion annually.

This is why we continue to be at the cutting edge of telecommunications development, providing early access to technologies such as Antenna Integrated Radio (AIR), and the Radio Dot System. These technological innovations are part of our efforts in addressing our partner’s key pain points and supporting them to deliver price to the market.

What is the current status of Networked Society in Africa?

The Networked Society is Ericsson’s vision for a next in which everything that will benefit from a connection will have one. This drives our vision of 50 billion connected devices. We believe in this as a world vision which would as well impact lives in Africa.

As part of driving the Networked Society in Africa, Ericsson has forged a partnership with Business Sweden, and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to launch a two-year ICT venture in Sub-Sahara Africa. One of the core objectives of the venture is to champion the rollout and application of ICT to help connect key sectors of society within African nations, inclunding business, education, government and health.
This partnership as well aims to share knowledge and increase trade between nations in the region and Sweden in order to strengthen the African ICT sector. We have recently embarked on a roadshow that has visited a number of nations inclunding Angola, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.

What in your view are qualities of a good leader?

Great leaders allow greatness to blossom around them. For me this means three critical roles. Initial is to create an enabling environment and provide the energy for succcess. A leader is an orchestrator, who strives for excellence and motivates people to high levels of individual performance. To do this, leaders need to be increasingly aware of the benefits of technology and have the ability to harness new developments such as social media to better connect with their audience. Finally, good leadership is about heart and guts – the passion for your job, your peers and customers, and the courage to make courageous decisions.

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