South Africa’s Mobile Heritage a Shared Country Asset

Published on: 24th September 2018

South Africa boasts an awesome mobile heritage and it’s a country asset that we can all share, says the country’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA).

“From just 4 million phones countrywide in 1994, South Africans of all backgrounds have together built a vibrant cellular industry that today encompasses 95 million mobile connections. That’s an incredible shared success story of which we can all be proud,” says Ilonka Badenhorst, General Manager of WASPA.

Connecting South Africans to each other was, however, just the first step in creating a common mobile future. “A successful mobile sector that is attractive to consumers depends on the industry’s wireless application service providers (WASPs) building compelling mobile content and applications that can be delivered on top of the foundation mobile networks,” explains Ms Badenhorst.

South Africa’s mobile network operators (MNOs) recognised the pivotal role of WASPs in creating a shared mobile heritage when they supported the founding of WASPA as a non-profit, self-regulating industry body in 2004. Today, there are well over 400 WASPA members and membership is compulsory for any provider of mobile content and applications wishing to do business with the customers of South Africa’s MNOs.

Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom Mobile have all mandated that membership of a representative industry body with an enforceable Code of Conduct is required for wireless application service providers (WASPs). WASPA has spent almost 15 years continually refining the Code of Conduct according to which all 400-plus members must adhere.

Key benefits of WASPA membership include the ability of members to contribute to the evolution of the Association’s Code of Conduct, supporting the WASPA complaints desk which helps with a single point of contact for consumer queries, enhanced member compliance through the WASPA media monitoring service, relationship-building and stakeholder management with important industry players, and interaction with the international mobile community to share industry best practice.

In conclusion, WASPA is today more often than not seen as a consumer champion after a history of consistently working hard to build consumer trust. “After the mobile network operators, WASPA is the most trusted port of call when it comes to helping consumers manage their content intake and subscriptions. We’re proud of WASPA’s heritage and we’re using it to build a solid mobile future for all South Africans,” concluded Ms Badenhorst.

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