24 Feb
2018

The Internet Value Chain

One of the themes discussed at the recent FSE&CC - GSMA ICT workshop held at the Royal Swazi Convention center on the 15th of February 2018 was the "Internet Value Chain". The Internet Value Chain examines the market structure, economic drivers and financial performance of the global internet economy and its respective segments.

The GSMA commissioned this research to construct a high-level view of the internet economy—the players, economic analysis of different segments and the competitive landscape. According to this study, the internet has evolved substantially, with many of the major players moving across the value chain, new players entering and quickly building strong positions, and some former leaders losing market position. The ‘sharing economy’ has been born, with the likes of Uber and Airbnb enrolling millions of users and disrupting entire industry segments.

What is also evident in Swaziland too is that there has been

  • An increase in the number of people able to access the internet through mobile networks, at ever greater speeds.
  • Declining cost of internet, most notably brought by the second mobile operator Swazi mobile.
  • Declining cost of internet-capable devices such as smartphones.

However, the following questions remain unanswered:

  • Are we reaping the full benefits of the internet value chain?
  • What challenges are we facing as a developing country, especially considering the ripple effects of the digital divide?
  • What strategies are being used by policymakers, and other stakeholders to improve the overall health of our internet ecosystem and consequently our economy?

 

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