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MTN Group and Three Other Partners to Launch 3G Smart Feature Phone in Africa


TechInAfrica – Last week on November 13, MTN Group and three other partners, including KaiOS Technologies Inc., China Mobile Communications Group Co., and UNISOC announced a partnership to launch Africa’s first 3G smartphone. The 3G featured smartphone will be powered by KaiOS and expectedly available next year in the first quarter.

The 3G featured smartphone will enable its users to be fully connected with 3G internet with more affordable cost, thus, everyone expectedly can access advanced digital services. It will cost around $20-$25, considered comparatively cheaper than other mobile devices on the continent.

MTN Group and Three Other Partners to Launch 3G-featured mobile phone in Africa
MTN Group and Three Other Partners to Launch 3G-featured mobile phone in Africa via

The Group President and CEO of MTN, Rob Shuter, said, “As MTN we are proud to be part of this partnership that supports our ambitions to deepen digital inclusion in our markets. This initiative contributes to the achievement of one of our key goals to provide affordable data enabled handsets to our customers, and by so doing, remove some of the barriers to mobile internet adoption in Africa.”

The full specifications of the 3G featured smartphone are:

  • Connectivity through Wi-Fi and 3G
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • Google Assistant and other digital smart services
  • 2 cameras, rear and front camera
  • Music and video streaming services
  • Battery 2000mAh
  • Dual SIM card
  • 256MB/512MB RAM/ROM
  • 4’ screen

The CEO of KaiOS Technologies, Sebastien Codeville, said: “With 834 million people still unconnected to the internet in Africa, today’s launch with MTN, UNISOC, and China Mobile stands to have a significant impact on communities across the continent. MTN has one of the largest customer bases in the region and coupled with KaiOS, we’re taking an important step toward closing the digital divide on the continent.”

Meanwhile, the Executive Vice President of China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd, Li Huidi, said, “As the largest Telecom Operator in China, we have made fruitful attempts at rapidly promoting business development through device customization. We hope to share our experiences in this regard with international operator partners, and help them expand market presence through device customization, thus delivering the dividend of reliable mobile networks to more users.”

“As the largest operator in Africa, MTN Group has achieved excellent progress. China Mobile is very honored to be MTN’s strategic and cooperative partner and is willing to provide customized integrated device solutions to MTN. Jointly, we can provide intelligent connectivity for the multi-billion market in Africa, and help to promote the digitalization of the continent,” added Li Huidi.

“UNISOC has been in the African market for over 10 years and every year more than 100 million mobile phones powered by UNISOC chips are sold in Africa. UNISOC is glad to partner with MTN, China Mobile and KaiOS, and together we will continue to invest more to fill in the gaps in the mobile communications and IoT fields in African markets. With customized solutions and excellent services, we will create a rich and diversified mobile ecosystem for Africa that will enable more than 1 billion African consumers to connect intelligently,” said the Executive Vice President of Unigroup and CEO of UNISOC, Adam Zeng.


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