[Interview] Souad Touil x TechAfrica News

Published on: 16/10/2023
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Discover below an exclusive video interview featuring Souad Touil, sales director Africa for Intersec and conducted by Akim Benamara, the founder of TechAfrica News, in which they delve into how Intersec's expertise is reshaping telecommunications in Africa.

As Souad Touil elaborates, the company's roots in Africa run deep, dating back to its establishment in 2004. It's not just about expansion; Intersec has been an integral part of Africa's technological evolution, collaborating closely with African partners in around 20 countries. Our work has contributed to groundbreaking innovations, from mobile money to contextual marketing, and even assisting telcos in optimizing network performance during peak hours.

Discover how Intersec, with nearly two decades of experience, stands as a beacon of geolocation excellence. Our solutions empower telecom operators with cutting-edge technology while simultaneously bolstering public safety initiatives.


If you can't turn the sound on, here's the video script:

Can you tell us a bit more about Intersec?

So, Intersec is a global company with approximately 20 years of experience. We have been recognized by Telecom Industries experts as key players in location intelligence, we are present on five continents and we are operating from different locations around the world. And if you sum up the list of all the subscribers that are covered by our technology, we can find 1 billion people and connected objects 24/7. Oh, right. We are working with both MMOs and governments. We are working with MNOs in order to use the vast amount of data they have to increase their revenues, and we are working with governments in order to support them, of course with the support of MNOs, to save people's lives.

Very interesting, thank you. Can you tell us a bit more about your company's history in Africa and what is your opinion about the African Market, especially with the solution you offer today?

Sure. So Africa for Intersec is not just an expansion of the activities. We have been working closely with our partners there since the first stages of our creation and foundation in 2004, we have been working with them in several activities. It's important to say that MNOs in Africa have been groundbreaking, I would say, players to introduce innovative technologies such as, for example, contextual marketing. In contextual marketing, for example, we have provided them with a solution that will allow them to use the data they have in order to better understand their customer's experience. We have also been providing them with a solution about cell broadcast. Cell broadcast is generally a solution that is used for public warning systems. But in Africa, MNOs found this great idea of using it as a technology for location-based marketing campaigns and they were using it in order to balance a little bit the network charge that they were having in peak hours. We have also been working with them in order to support the governments providing them with solutions of geolocation in order to help them or to support them during mission-critical events.

Okay, thank you. So that means, when we look at your solution, it can help on one side the public sector, and also the private sector. Okay, so how can it especially help the geolocation solution to help the governments in Africa for example?

For governments for example we can talk about localized data or I think a better way to say is geostatistics. Geostatistics can help governments in many many fields. They can be used by many ministries. For example it can be used for urban planning. It can help the authorities to know where to build bridges, where to build roads. It can help them to optimize their transportation network. It can also, for example, help them to mitigate the areas where there is a flood risk. And you remember, for example, Ebola in 2014? During that period NGOs and MNOs were using the data - of course anonymized and on a mass scale - in order to monitor the movements of the population and that helped them mitigate, or I would say monitor, the propagation of this virus. So that was back in 2014. The tool, the phone, was not very affordable to anyone. Not everyone had one. So now, in 2023, it has become a kind of commodity for everyone, so even in rural zones and areas in Africa we can find at least one phone per family. So imagine how important this tool can be in order to save lives especially in public warning, and in public safety.

So it seems Intersec actually plays an important role in terms of Public Safety in Africa.

Yes, we have been working with international organizations and with MNOs in order to provide or implement Early Warning Systems. Those kinds of solutions are very helpful in order to mitigate risks and to alert in case of natural disasters, terrorist attacks or emergency, I would say, events in general. We have also been helping the governments with the help, of course, of MNOs by providing them with solutions that will provide them with accurate and real-time geolocation for emergency calls. So imagine how impactful this can be especially for rescuers. It can be really a lifesaver. So, of course, all these information that are provided to the governments are mass-scale, they are anonymous, they are respecting the privacy of people, and MNOs can also use these tools in order to monetize data.

So how do you help MNOs efficiently monetize the data?

It can be for both internal and external use cases. For internal use cases or internal use of our solution, MNOs can, with the help of geolocation, understand, for example, in which areas they are succeeding and in which areas they are not. And, of course, trying to see how they can improve the areas where they are not succeeding. Also, MNOs with geolocation can understand their customers and understand, let's say, the 360-degree experience of a customer, and see how they can improve their added value with their customers, either nationwide or during a customer's roaming experience. This is what concerns a few examples of the internal use cases. Regarding the external use cases, we talked a few minutes ago about geostatistics. So with those geostatistics, they can be used by governments but they can also be sold to third parties in order to increase their revenues. We can also use or MNOs can use geostatistics, sorry geolocation, you know, for location-based advertisement for other companies. So I would say that data monetization is a very huge topic. Those are a few examples.

So it could be a big revenue stream for MNOs actually, if they use properly the data they have.

Yes, sure. So data monetization can be really a game changer, especially with competitors. 


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