VODACOM Tanzania has introduced to the market the first smart feature phone, Smart Kitochi the initiative that will enhance internet penetration in the country.
The Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) quarterly statistics for June shows that internet users increased to 23.14 million representing about 49 per cent of the mobile phone subscribers.
The new launch serves as a milestone, according to Vodacom's Executive Head of Sales George Lugata not only for both companies, but the country as it is the first smart feature phone available in the Tanzanian market.
"We're excited to introduce the first smart feature phone in the market alongside our partner KaiOS Technologies," he said adding, "Despite wide coverage of network in the country, we still face a challenge of digital divide caused by low smartphone penetration so by introducing the Smart Kitochi, we'll bring valuable digital services and information to this market at a price that people can afford."
He said the Smart Kitochi comes with access to popular apps like WhatsApp, The Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and many more giving more Tanzanians access to the internet society.
KaiOS is a light operating system which enables a new category of affordable smart feature phones that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience.
Apart from supporting 3G and 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC, the KaiOSenabled phones come with popular apps and services like WhatsApp, Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps, as well as a store for apps called the KaiStore with over two hundred essential apps and counting, from global and local content providers.
"The digital divide across Africa as a whole remains very large," adds Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies.
"We're incredibly focused on establishing partnerships and delivering mobile technology that addresses this issue, which is why we're so thrilled to be working with Vodacom.
The Smart Kitochi is a key step in connecting those who remain disconnected from mobile internet and all of the valuable resources in Tanzania and beyond."