Millions of mobile users owning basic mobile phones across Africa and Asia are now able to join the online community using a new low-cost USSD messaging service from Etisalat. It provides access to email, social networking and messaging services, to basic mobile devices and feature phones at affordable prices.
The new service results from an agreement between Etisalat Group and Mahindra Comviva, one of the global leaders in providing mobile financial and value-added solutions. The two firms signed the pact at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Etisalat Group's Chief Commercial Officer, Rainer Rathgeber and Ambar Sur, Global Market Unit Head for Mahindra Comviva signed for their outfits.
The Nigerian phase of the contract was signed by Steven Evans, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria and Kaustubh Kashyap, Mahindra Comviva's Global Key Account Manager.
Present at the event were Essa Al Haddad, who doubles as Etisalat Group's CEO for Africa and Vice Chairman of EMTS and Manoranjan Mohapatra, Mahindra Comviva's CEO. The partnership provides Etisalat's 139 million subscribers in the Middle East, Africa and Asia with consumer email, instant messaging, social networking, phone book backup services as well as popular news/web feeds and other relevant applications over their mobile phone.
They can do this either through downloading an application or via USSD, SMS or MMS messages which eliminates the users' dependence on smartphones. This effectively provides access to contemporary web services to every mobile handset.