Google, Orange partner on African innovation
INTERNET| July 28, 2011, 2:56 p.m.
Orange and Google have signed a partnership that aims to take access to new Google services to users across Africa.
In line with the deal, Orange’s 60 million African mobile customers will be able to stay in touch with their Google services and Google users will be able to extend their network by using SMS-based services.
In a statement, Orange and Google said the partnership would use Orange’s SMS platform to bring Google’s services to African customers.
The partners said the agreement marked an important step forward that would facilitate access to the growing mobile internet market in Africa.
They noted that by the end of 2010, only 1.4% of the population in Africa and Middle East had access to broadband services, compared to 62.5% for mobile services.
Gmail’s SMS Chat service, which will eventually be launched across Orange’s footprint in Africa and the Middle East, is already available in Senegal, Uganda and Kenya. It will be launched in four additional countries - Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry and Niger - in the coming months, and will be launched as a trial in Egypt through Mobinil. Orange and Google are now looking to extend this partnership to include other services.
The services proposed under Google SMS are only the first stage of this partnership. Orange and Google are now exploring ways of bringing other Google services to the whole Orange customer base.
Commenting on the partnership, Xavier Perret, VP Strategic Partnerships said: “By bringing the full potential of the mobile internet to our customers in Africa, this strategic partnership is a step forward in Orange’s “Digital Coach” strategy.
The Group’s capacity to combine its knowhow on service infrastructure with innovation, and by adapting its offers to local needs, will enable it to provide mobile customers across Africa with access to internet-based services in the best possible conditions. We are delighted to work with a major brand like Google and we know that by innovating together we can really change the role mobile technology plays in our customers’ lives”.
MORE INTERNET NEWS
E-commerce: DRC not in race despite ICT enthusiasmDespite its recent ICT gains, DRC is still lagging on the e-commerce front, reports Issa Sikiti da Silva. Read More
Intelsat celebrates 50 yearsIntelsat today commemorates its 50th anniversary of providing critical telecommunications and video content distribution infrastructure for businesses, organizations and governments around the world. Read More
Ruckus Wireless expands presence in AfricaRuckus Wireless has appointed Westcon Africa as the newest member of its growing distributor network as part of the company’s continued expansion into Africa. Read More
MACRA calls for SADC frequency harmonisationMACRA has called on SADC member states to harmonise their activities in the region so that they continue serving their respective countries in an orderly manner. Read More
Zoom Wireless takes cheaper high speed internet to northern UgandaInternet users in Gulu are enjoying lower internet costs after Zoom Wireless, a part of SINFA Uganda LTD, began offering a range of corporate and small business and residential grade fixed wireless services in the region. Read More
DRC print media, radio looks to digitalNewspapers and radio stations in the Democratic Republic of Congo are moving online to reach wider audiences. Read More
MSTelcom extends agreement with Intelsat to expand satellite broadband services in AngolaIntelsat S.A has entered into a new, multi-year agreement with MSTelcom, who will leverage Intelsat’s satellite and network expertise to offer broadband service to consumers and corporations in Angola's oil and gas and banking sectors. Read More
Malawi to host SADC universalising broadband meetingThe Malawi government will host a workshop on Universalising Broadband in the SADC, barely two days after finishing hosting the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Administrative Council of The Pan African Postal Union (PAPU). Read More
Most DRC government ministries still have no websitesThe government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may have inaugurated a fibre optic landing station but many of its ministries and other institutions have nothing to do with modernism and digital revolution. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’
WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.