Providing innovative solutions to digital challenges

 

 

RIS is a strategy consulting firm that specializes in providing innovative, data-driven solutions to digital problems in emerging markets. We consult to a wide-range of organisations, including the World Bank (ICT Global Practice and InfoDev), the International Finance Corporation, the Canadian International Development Agency (now the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) and USAID, country regulators and corporate clients.

RIS is the consulting partner of Research ICT Africa (www.researchictafrica.net) of Cape Town, South Africa. The Research ICT Africa network conducts research on ICT policy and regulation that facilitates evidence-based and informed policy making for improved access, use and application of ICT for social development and economic growth. The RIS team provides strategic consulting services to partners emanating from our strong research base as well as a strong consulting background built up over many years.

RIS partners have extensive telecommunications research experience working together in broadband and other advanced services, GIS-based data modeling and universal access projects. The RIS partners have many years of joint project collaboration as partner, senior consultants and associates working and networking together through their former corporate relationship under Intelecon Research & Consultancy Ltd. of Vancouver BC and Research ICT Africa.

RIS’s approach is to support regulators and policymakers with customised solutions tailored to market size and the regulatory and legal specifics. The capacity of the regulator and the ability of licensees to afford the cost of interventions is also taken into account. Our approach is to work closely with regulatory staff on our assignments and even integrate regulatory staff into our team to maximise transfer of skill and knowledge. After working with RIS, regulators are able to conduct rigorous regulatory analyses themselves.

Regulatory interventions implemented in the European Union, the US, Australia, Japan, Korea and Australia would not be suitable for markets that are still growing rapidly. Regulatory interventions designed in Europe and the USA are enormously expensive and rely upon virtually limitless skills and resources. A popular regulatory intervention, for example, is to prescribe accounting separation to determine mobile termination rates. This is an unnecessary burden to the regulator and to operators for countries with small populations. Benchmarking, taking into account local conditions, is a much quicker and cost-effective approach. RIS has used this approach in many countries around the globe.

We provide a range of services, including:

  • Policy and regulatory studies – covering in-depth regulatory issues (e.g., licensing, interconnection, pricing, national roaming) and broader scopes such as developing regulatory agenda for next 3-5 years;
  • Market studies – research and data-driven exercises including demand analysis and strategic marketing analysis in support of both regulation and commercial entry;
  • Universal service and access and broadband strategies – comprising network inventories for policy, regulation, costing and funding development, including advanced use of GIS mapping and analysis tools;
  • M-Services – mobile banking, mobile applications and inclusive business strategies;
  • On-location services – Extensive field surveys on ICT related demand, usage, affordability, perceptions and user satisfaction;
  • Digital strategies and road maps – covering broadband development, ICT and education, e-government and ICT industry;
  • Monitoring and evaluation – methodologies and tools for ex-post analysis; and
  • ICT skills education, training and institutional capacity building in all of the above areas.

RIS’s approach focuses on proper understanding of the project objectives, thorough research, rigorous analysis, and creative and collaborative solution development.