APA

African Press Association

MTN, KaiOS Technologies, China Mobile and UNISOC Launch Africa’s First Smart Feature Phone

MTN

For immediate release: 13th October 2018

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, 13th OCTOBER 2018, African Press Association (APA) – TODAY, at the annual AfricaCom conference in Cape Town, the CEO of MTN Group, CEO of KaiOS Technologies Inc., Executive Vice President of China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd., and Executive Vice President of UNISOC announced a partnership to launch the world’s first 3G smart feature phone in Africa, powered by KaiOS.

The new product will allow customers to upgrade from a feature phone with only voice and text capabilities, to a fully connected handset with fast, 3G internet. Because of the competitive pricing of the device, access to advanced digital services is finally a reality for everyone.

Of the partnership, Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN, 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 new smart feature phone runs on KaiOS – the world’s leading operating system for smart feature phones – and includes the following features and services:

* Fast internet access through Wi-Fi and 3G

* Bluetooth connectivity and GPS for navigation

* The Google Assistant and other smart services

* The KaiStore, home to the world’s most popular apps and localized
content

* 2 cameras, as well as music and video streaming services

* Long battery life 2000mah

* Dual SIM support

“With 834 million<https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm> 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,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies.

“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.”

KaiOS already powers close to 50 million smart feature phones globally, including in the USA, Canada, India, China, and several countries in Europe.

It has overtaken iOS as the second most popular mobile operating system in India (based on data usage) and is at the forefront of connecting the next billion users by enabling devices that provide affordable mobile internet access.

The 3G smart feature phone will initially be available from MTN in Nigeria and South Africa, followed very shortly by the other MTN operations in Africa as well as the Middle East. The new product will retail between $20-$25[1], which is relatively affordable compared to the price of other devices across the African continent.

Li Huidi, Executive Vice President of China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd, 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 honoured 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.”

Through the efforts of all parties, this product will help convert African
2G users to 3G, allowing African people to enjoy high-speed mobile
networks. The new smart feature phone is powered by the UNISOC SC7731EF, the first 3G smart chipset with up to 256MB RAM. The device has a 2.4′ screen, 256MB/512MB RAM/ROM, a 2000MAH battery, and supports dual SIM. It will be available starting from the first quarter of 2019.

“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.” said Adam Zeng, Executive Vice President of Unigroup and CEO of UNISOC., “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.”

Distributed by African Press Association (APA) on behalf of MTN.

About MTN

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN”. As of 30 September 2018, MTN recorded 225,4 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.

About China Mobile
As the leading telecommunications services provider in Mainland China, China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd. (formerly known as China Mobile Communications Corporation, “CMCC”)boasts a world-class telecommunications operator with the world’s largest network and customer base, a leading position in profitability and market value ranking. As of 31 December 2017, the Group had 887 million mobile customers and 113 million wireline broadband customers.

China Mobile Group Device Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the “Device Company”) is among the first batch of specialized subsidiaries of China Mobile. The Device company is committed to providing cost-effective house brand of China Mobile, co-branded device products and accessories to customers. Its business covers various links of the smart phone and device industry chain including R&D, testing, distribution, retail, aftersales services, etc. The channels of the Device Company cover China Mobile’s house business halls, large chain stores, mobile phone exclusive shops, online shopping malls in China’s 31 provinces, which makes it the largest terminal distributer in China.

About KaiOS Technologies

KaiOS Technologies powers an emerging ecosystem of affordable digital products and services. Our flagship product, KaiOS, is a light, web-based operating system that enables a new category of smart feature phones and other IoT devices that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience. Our mission is to help bridge the digital divide-connecting the billions of people in emerging markets who still don’t have internet access, as well as those in established markets who are looking for easy-to-use phones with advanced functionality.

At AfricaCom, KaiOS Technologies is a sponsor of the 20/20 Technology Forum and will be demonstrating its range of smart feature phones. For more information and to arrange a meeting at AfricaCom please visit www.kaiostech.com<http://www.kaiostech.com> or email
partnerships@kaiostech.com<mailto:partnerships@kaiostech.com>

About UNISOC

As a core subsidiary of Tsinghua Unigroup, UNISOC is a leading fabless semiconductor company committed to the independent R&D of core chipsets in mobile communications and IoT. Its products cover mobile chipset platforms supporting 2G / 3G / 4G / 5G communication standards, RF chipsets, wireless connection chipsets, security chipsets, TV chipsets, and image sensor chipsets. With more than 4,500 staff, 14 R&D centers and 8 customer support centers around the world(as of Oct 2018), UNISOC has been one of the top 3 mobile baseband chipset suppliers in the world, the largest pan-chip provider in China, and the leading 5G communications chipset design company in China.

About the MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting subscribers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: “MTN”. As of 30 September 2018, MTN recorded 225,4 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.

For more information, please contact:

Karen Byamugisha on +27 (0) 83 214 3685 or at
Karen.byamugisha@mtn.com

mtngrouppressoffice@mtn.com

Follow us: @MTNGroup