MobileMonday South Africa launches

2009 April 15
by Ismail Dhorat

Mobilemonday, is a networking organization in the vein of First Tuesday for people within the mobile space. The South African chapter of Mobile monday will officially be launched on the 20th of April 2009. MobileMonday brings together mobile industry visionaries,  developers & other interesting and influential people fro collaboration, knowledge sharing and networking.

According to Daniel Torras, a cofounder of MobileMonday South Africa and a principal at Delta Partners, the largest telecoms advisory in Africa and the Middle East, the MobileMonday phenomenon began almost by accident back in 2000.

“A couple of well-known ex-Nokia employees invited the who’s who of the Finnish mobile industry for an informal get-together, and the only suitable time was a Monday evening.

“After meeting many new faces and discussing the latest in mobility, the group decided to continue meeting on the first Monday of each month — thus, MobileMonday, or MoMo, was born,” he says.

Towards the end of 2004, the movement started to spread to other areas of the world, and new MoMo chapters were started in Tokyo, Japan, the USA and Italy.

“Since then,” Torras continues, “around 67 MoMo chapters have been founded around the world, with the South African chapter being one of the latest additions to this growing network.  And if you ask me, it’s about time it came to South Africa.”

The South African chapter of MoMo is the brainchild of Torras; Toni Eliasz, executive director at Ungana Afrika; Dylan Piatti, creative director at Cellsmart and Teemu Kiijärvi, Southern Africa partner for Mobiletools International.

Key to the huge success of MoMo events internationally is the fact that they are so different from the usual conferences that people in the telecommunications space would attend.

“There will generally be a short keynote address or panel, with the rest of the evening being an informal networking event where great telecommunications minds can chat, share ideas and debate whatever is topical,” Torras points out.

With so much activity making headlines in South Africa and elsewhere throughout the continent, the African mobile market is one of the most vibrant and dynamic areas of worldwide telecommunications today.

“The local mobile market,” Torras points out, “is packed with many innovators and start-up companies that are doing some very interesting things in the mobile space.

“And this will serve as the inspiration for the inaugural event’s theme — Mobile in Africa: Current state and future possibilities,” he says.

Particularly relevant to the African context is the challenge of delivering cost-effective and locally relevant mobile services to people at the base of the pyramid, while still maintaining a profitable business for mobile operators.

In addition, the proliferation of mobile broadband is another key growth area in Africa, where mobile coverage and penetration far exceeds fixed-line operators.  In fact, analysts expect as much as 50% of broadband access on the African continent to be from mobile devices in the next two to three years.

Mobile Mondays are scheduled to take place on a monthly basis and will focus on different themes for each event.   Entry is free and attendees need only pay for their drinks and food.

“It’s a great opportunity to network with some of the greatest minds in the local telecoms space, and we’re hoping that the local chapter will stir up as much interest in local telecoms as the international chapters have done overseas,” Torras concludes.

Confirmed panelists include Vodacom’s Executive Head Mr. Rick Jouberg, Nokia’s Head of Business System Enablers Mr. Iikka Väkiparta and the Vice President of Capgemini Consulting Mr. Tom Jaquette.

mobilemonday-sa

Date: 20 April 2009

Time: 16:30

Where: Primi Forum, Melrose Arch

Register by emailing: rsvp [at] mobilemonday.co.za

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