Press releases

KaiOS Technologies Partners with E. B. Solutions Limited to Bring First Smart Feature Phone with a Built-in Infrared Thermometer to Bangladesh

Hong Kong, China <22  October 2020>  –Today KaiOS Technologies, maker of the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, and E. B. Solutions Limited, leading Bangladeshi technology solution provider, announced Geo Phone T15. Available for 3,500 Taka (USD 41) this new KaiOS-enabled device makes access to popular apps and high-speed mobile internet more affordable than budget-oriented smartphones. The T15 also includes an infrared thermometer developed by FISE, the first of its kind in a smart feature phone.

South Asia is one of the areas hit hardest by the global digital divide according to the GSMA, as 55% of the population remains isolated from mobile internet, severely limiting access to both educational resources and popular applications. To create a rich user experience without a costly price tag, the T15 combines affordable feature phone hardware with KaiOS, giving users access to hundreds of popular apps including WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, and the Google Assistant through the KaiStore.

Bangladesh is also in dire need of digital tools to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 390 thousand* confirmed COVID-19 cases and a ranking as the sixth most densely populated country globally. Combining an IR thermometer with high-speed 4G internet access, the Geo Phone T15 democratizes access to instant, touchless temperature monitoring and online health resources, enabling the people of Bangladesh to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

“This combination of high-speed internet, on-the-go temperature monitoring, and affordability are perfect for Bangladesh,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “Popular apps and other vital digital resources are more accessible than ever via the T15, alongside the potentially life-saving power of contactless temperature readings. With E. B. Solutions Ltd., we’re taking a crucial step towards closing the digital divide in South Asia, and helping stop the spread of COVID-19 through an affordable, innovative device.”

“Geo Phone T-15 will be an affordable device which can narrow this digital divide for rural populations. Geo Phone T15, powered by KaiOS, is a 4G VoLTE enabled device with necessary apps for your digital lifestyle,” said Rafiur Rahman Khan Yusufzai, Managing Director of E. B. Solutions Ltd. “It is notably the first smart feature phone with a built-in infrared thermometer.”

Accurate down to 0.2 degrees Celsius, the T15’s IR thermometer is located next to the smart feature phone’s rear-facing camera. Users simply point it at the subject’s forehead for an instant, accurate temperature reading. The Geo Phone T15 also provides access to educational resources such as Kai’s in-house app Life, which features lessons and self-help articles related to COVID-19, general health, digital literacy, agriculture, and more.

About KaiOS Technologies

KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 135 million devices shipped in over 150 countries. Kai’s mission is to  open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.

About E. B. Solutions Ltd. (a concern of EBS Group)

E. B. Solutions Ltd. (“EBS”) is the parent company of EBS Group, founded in 2004 and currently the largest Telecom Value Added & IT Solution Provider in Bangladesh with 100+ deployments at home and in 10 different countries worldwide. EBS Group also has other spin-off companies, each of which provides products and services in different industry verticals. With an experience of delivering telecom VAS services, smartphone apps and carrier-grade solutions for the telecom industry, EBS is now determined to do something about the persisting digital divide in the country where 59% rural households still do not have access to a smartphone. Therefore, with the newest product, country’s first smart feature phone run by KaiOS – Geo Phone T15, and with “Dream-Innovate-Enjoy” as its brand philosophy, EBS’s new mission is to provide value for money for fiscally conservative population who needs social connectivity to enrich their lives.

KaiOS Media Contact

Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139 3746 / +1 (408) 286 2611

EBS Media Contact

Rajkumar Chakraborty / Shomeshwar Oli
rajkumar@ebsbd.com / shomeshwar.oli@ebsbd.com
+8801751993707 / +8801710510377

* As of 19 October, 2020 

Press releases

KaiOS Technologies and LANIX Unveil New Smart Feature Phone for Mexico

Hong Kong, China <19  October 2020>  – Today KaiOS Technologies, maker of the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones,  and Mexican electronics manufacturer LANIX announced the LANIX U340, the first KaiOS-enabled smart feature phone in LANIX’s mobile lineup, designed with an excellent combination of performance, functionality, and cost.

Available starting October 15 for $729 pesos ($34 USD), the U340 gives users access to internet connectivity and 800+ popular apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Assistant, while remaining more affordable than even budget-oriented smartphones. 

According to the GSMA, the lack of affordable mobile devices is a key barrier to digital inclusion, especially in Mexico where 31% of people remain disconnected from the internet. The LANIX U340 pairs familiar feature phone hardware with smartphone-level capabilities, including 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, along with powerful apps for learning new skills and connecting with friends and family, bringing mobile internet connectivity to a wider population in Mexico.   

Our partnership with LANIX has created an ideal mobile device for Mexico, said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “Google, YouTube, and Facebook make up the top three most popular web services in Mexico, and the KaiOS-enabled LANIX U340 gives users access to these and other useful applications right out of the box, while keeping it cost-effective for Mexico’s disconnected population.  

Our passion is in bringing technology closer to people, said Benjamín Aguilar, CEO of LANIX. “We’re excited to work with Kai as part of that goal, creating our first smart feature phone in an intuitive and easy-to-use device for even the first-time internet users.”  

The LANIX U340 is now available through authorized retailers. It’s powered by the Mediatek MTK6572 and features a 2.4” QVGA screen, 256MB RAM, and 512MB of storage upgradeable to 128GB via microSD. Slim and lightweight, the KaiOS-enabled smart feature phone also has a 1.3MP rear camera and is available in both black and blue. 

About KaiOS Technologies

KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 135 million devices shipped in over 150 countries. Kai’s mission is to  open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.

About LANIX

LANIX is a Mexican technology company with 30 years of uninterrupted operation, dedicated to the manufacture and commercialization of personal computers and mobile phones. Lanix brand is well known for its high quality products and for following global standards, it is recognized as one of the most reputable brands in Mexico.

Lanix has a modern structure that combines high technology and a high standards manufacturing process, with passionate and capable people, offering a wide range of technology options without limits.

KaiOS Media Contact 

Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139 3746 / +1 206 423-6081

LANIX Media Contact 

Graciela Domínguez / Esperanza Valenzuela
gdominguez@lanix.com / evc3@lanix.com
+52 5543395056 / 52 662 109 0812

Press releases

Africell unveils its first 4G KaiOS device in Uganda, the 4G Vida K242An extension of Africell’s partnership with KaiOS that started last year at AfricaCom

29 September 2020 KaiOS  Technologies and Africell today announced that a new  KaiOS–enabled smart feature phone, the 4G Vida K242, is now available in Uganda and will facilitate mobile internet adoption across the country. 

According to the Digital 2020 report for Uganda, there were 26.83 million mobile connections in January, equivalent to 60% of the population. However, internet penetration was only 24%, with just 2.5 million social media users.

The 4G Vida K242 has been specifically designed for people who are unable to afford a smartphone and want to go online. It has a user-friendly interface optimized for first-time internet users. It comes with the world’s most popular apps, such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Facebook, and provides access to hundreds of other applications through the KaiStore. Life, the in-house app that offers life skills training for first-time internet users and ranks as one of the top 10 most downloaded apps in Uganda, is also available via the KaiStore.

Retailed at just UGX 120,000 (~USD 32.4), 4G Vida K242 comes with 1.5GB and 850 on-net minutes every month for six months.

Africell operates nationwide 2G, 3G, and 4G networks and is investing heavily to achieve extensive growth in both urban and rural areas.

Neeraj Gala, Chief Commercial Officer of Africell Uganda said, “On top of being the first 4G feature plus phone to be launched in Uganda, we are also making the 4G Vida the most affordable for only 120,000 ugx, inclusive of 1.5 GB, 850 minutes of talk-time on Africell network. Additionally, and as a cherry on top we are offering the customer 1.5 GB and 850 minutes of Africell talk-time for free for 6 months.”

“For millions of people across the world, a KaiOS-enabled device is their entry point into the online services that can transform lives,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “Africell is a trusted partner that shares the same mission of reducing the gap between digital haves and have-nots, by bringing smart feature phones with life-enhancing services to first-time internet users across Uganda.”

4G Vida K242 Technical Specifications

Operating System:  KaiOS 2.5.3
Network:  4G, Wi-Fi
Display:  2.4″  display
SIM: Supports dual SIM card (SIM 1 – 4G with VoLTE; Sim 2 – 2G)
Battery:  1,500 mAh
Apps and Functions:  KaiStore with Google Assistant, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, etc.

About KaiOS Technologies

KaiOS  Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and  exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product,  KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 135 million devices shipped in over  150 countries.  

Kai’s mission is to open up  new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. 

KaiOS  is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, and Google Maps. 

For more information about  KaiOS, please visit: www.kaiostech.com  and  www.twitter.com/kaiOSTech 

About Africell

Africell is an African mobile technology company. 

We provide fast, low-cost and reliable mobile network coverage and related technology services to millions of individuals, communities and business in four vibrant African countries: Uganda, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and RD Congo. 

Africell is a disruptor: keen to challenge inefficiencies, embrace fresh thinking and deliver innovative products and services which make a practical difference to everyday people. 

Our corporate social responsibility and positive community impact, as well as our entrepreneurial spirit and transparent business activities, make Africell the ideal mobile network provider for Africa’s future.  

www.africell.ug 

KaiOS  Media Contact
Eletta Leung /  Bridget Fishleigh
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com /  bridget@telecomsprafrica,com
+852 9139 3746 /  +44 7946 342 903

Africell Uganda Media Contact
Edgar Karamagi
Edgar.karamagi@africell.ug
0790790109

Press releases

Introducing Kaduda T-Smart enabled by KaiOSthe first operator launch in Kenya with Telkom

14 September 2020 KaiOS  Technologies and Telkom Kenya  announced a new  KaiOS-enabled smart feature phone, the Kaduda T-Smart, to increase mobile internet access in Kenya. It also marks the first operator launch in Kenya for KaiOS. 

The T-Smart is a significant upgrade of Telkom Kenya’s feature phone portfolio. The device will help address the growing demand for competitively-priced internet-enabled devices with affordable data packages.  

According to the Digital 2020 report for Kenyaless than half of the population uses the internet (22.86 million people), and only 8.8 million are on social media.

The T-Smart enables Kenyans to access the Internet via 3G/4G/LTE and Wi-Fi. It has an easy-to-use interface that’s optimized for first-time internet users. The phone comes with the world’s most popular apps such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Facebook, and provides access to hundreds of other applications through the KaiStore.

The T-Smart retails at the accessible price point of KSh 3,100 (~USD28) and comes with a variety of data packages, including a free daily bundle comprising 100 MB for internet browsing and 200 MB to access WhatsApp and Facebook.  It is now available in all Telkom shops, countrywide.

Steve Okeyo, Telkom’s Managing Director for Consumer said, “Entry-level smart-feature devices constitute about 40% of phones sold in Kenya, affirming their acceptance and popularity due to longer-lasting batteries and the ability to pick signal faster in areas that are underserved with regard to connectivity”.

“Less than half of the people in Kenya are going online using their devices and only 20% of them are on social media,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “At KaiOS, we are focused on closing the digital divide by providing affordable smart feature phones along with relevant and useful apps and services for first-time internet users. We are excited to launch in Kenya through this partnership with Telkom Kenya, and, in doing so, opening the doors to the internet for millions of Kenyans.”

Technical Specifications

Operating System:  KaiOS 2.5.3
Network:  3G, 4G, LTE, Wi-Fi
Display 2.4” color display
SIM:  Supports dual SIM card (SIM 1 – 4G with VoLTE; Sim 2 – 2G)
Battery:  1,900 mAh
Apps and Functions:  KaiStore with Google Assistant, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, etc. 

About KaiOS Technologies 

KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 135 million devices shipped in over 150 countries. Kai’s mission is to  open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.

For more information about  KaiOS, please visit www.kaiostech.com  and www.twitter.com/kaiOSTech 

KaiOS  Media Contact

Eletta Leung / Bridget Fishleigh
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com /  bridget@telecomsprafrica.com
+852 9139 3746 / +44 7946 342 903

Partnership news

KaiOS image of digital inclusion in Nigeria wins contest

A KaiOS image representing digital inclusion in Nigeria was one of three winning photos in a contest organized by The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a United Nations (UN) conference for bridging the global digital divide. 

The contest called for images that showed how information and communication technologies, like apps and internet-enabled devices, support sustainable development goals.

The award winning photo, taken by photographer Emmanuel-King Itegboje

The winning photo, taken by Nigerian photographer Emmanuel-King Itegboje, depicts a man using a KaiOS phone on a farm in Nigeria. “The latest farming info is affordably arriving through smart feature phones,” reads the photo caption, referencing how African farmers have begun using apps on KaiOS devices to improve their harvests.  

A collaboration with mission-driven startup #Adtags

A collaboration between KaiOS and #Adtags, a startup that provides global brands with “non-stocky” images of people of color to increase their representation in media, the photo was one of a series commissioned by KaiOS to portray people using KaiOS devices.

“We needed pictures of people in Africa using KaiOS phones, and I realized we could create a real win-win situation working with #Adtags. We would get custom-made pictures of people with smart feature phones; we would support a startup with a similar, purposeful mission; and images of people using our devices would end up in the #Adtags library for others to see and use,” says KaiOS Marketing Director Tim Metz.

#Adtags founder Vimbayi Kajese worked with three local photographers to create photos of Nigerian men and women using KaiOS devices to learn, work, and play, but only one photo, Emmanuel’s, was submitted to the WSIS photo contest. “Out of all the images, the winning photo is the one that most accurately represents our vision,” says KaiOS Brand Manager Donald Chung. 

The photo was scheduled to be exhibited at the WSIS Forum in Geneva in early April, but plans changed as a result of the pandemic. The photo can be can be seen on the WSIS website instead.

For Tim Metz, the best thing about winning the WSIS photo competition is that it’s brought visibility to smart feature phones and their role in making the internet more accessible. “The jury recognizes the impact that smart feature phones have on daily life in Africa,” he says. “They undoubtedly had other, more futuristic and flashy pictures to choose from, but they chose this one.”

Press releases

TNM launches the first KaiOS-enabled phone in MalawiThe most affordable 4G device in Malawi with introductory bundled offer

5 August 2020 – Integrated mobile network and ICT services provider TNM Plc, has partnered with KaiOS Technologies to launch the most affordable 4G KaiOS-enabled smart feature phone in Malawi.

Priced at MK 24,999 (USD 33.9 *), the TNM Smart 4G will come with a value of MK28,000 (USD 38 *), worth of bonuses comprising 500 MBs, 150 SMSs and free Caller Tune every month for six months. This offer makes it the most affordable 4G device in the history of mobile internet in Malawi.

The phone will offer customers access to essential and popular apps such as WhatsApp, Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook, and many other applications unique to KaiOS.

TNM Plc Chief Executive Officer Michiel Buitelaar said this affordable device has been designed to suit the communication needs of first-time users and people in rural areas.

“These devices will help people to entertain and educate themselves or have broadband internet,” he said.

The CEO said the 4G phone would help disseminate timely and accurate information on COVID-19 at a time when cases are escalating and the United Nations has warned of disastrous effects on the least developed countries, which include Malawi.

To address low digital literacy issues, Buitelaar said the KaiOS phone comes with an easy-to-use interface, an in-house app called Life which features training and lessons related to digital literacy and other educational content. It also provides access to Google Assistant that allows first-time internet users to use voice to easily navigate and connect with the digital world.

“Smart 4G runs on a Mediatek MT6731 chipset, enabling 4G connectivity and other smartphone-like features such as Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. It has a 2.4” display, 4GB of storage (expandable to 32GB via microSD) and boasts a powerful battery which enables extended 8 hours of talk time,” he said.

Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies, said: “As the first company to make KaiOS smart feature phones available in Malawi, the launch cements TNM’s reputation as a pioneer in offering new services that help improve the lives of the country’s people and increases economic prosperity.  We will work with TNM to ensure that our devices carry content that is relevant and useful to the people of Malawi”.

For his part, new Information Minister Gospel Kazako commended TNM Plc for its unflinching efforts towards Malawi’s economic development through investments in mobile internet technology and ICT.

“TNM Plc takes a long view. They have invested significantly in a 4G mobile internet network that has transformed the TNM network into one of the most reliable Internet service providers in Malawi,” he said.

About KaiOS Technologies 

KaiOS  Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and  services, and  exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product,  KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than  135  million devices shipped in over  150  countries. Kai’s mission is to  open up  new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.  KaiOS  is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.

For more information about  KaiOS, please visit  www.kaiostech.com  and  www.twitter.com/kaiOSTech .

KaiOS  Media Contact

Eletta  Leung /  Bridget  Fishleigh
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com /  bridget@telecomsprafrica,com
+852 9139 3746 / +44 7946 342

* Malawi-Kwacha to US-Dollar conversion as of 4 August, 2020

Press releases

KaiOS Technologies and ALTÁN close the digital divide in Mexico

Hong Kong, China <22 July 2020> – Today KaiOS Technologies, maker of the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones,  and Mexican telecommunications provider ALTÁN Redes announced a new KaiOSenabled smart feature phone, the K26, to increase mobile internet access in Mexico.  

According to data released in January 2020, around 30% of the Mexican population remains without mobile internet connectivity. This partnership further narrows the digital divide by making 4G internet more accessible to first-time internet users in both big cities and rural areas. Available for $35 USD and a competitive monthly data package, the K26 features fast and secure internet access and VoLTE via 4G, along with Bluetooth, and dual-sim capabilities.

Social media is incredibly popular in Mexico, as 89% of Mexico’s 89 million internet users are active on social media. Through the KaiStore, K26 users gain access to the world’s most popular social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, and more. Hundreds more apps including Kai’s Life app and Google Assistant are also available, connecting users to trusted educational materials and locally relevant content.

“We’re excited to work with ALTÁN Redes to make the internet more accessible in Mexico,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “The K26 offers the best of the mobile internet while remaining affordable and accessible; and combined with ALTÁN’s high-speed network will help connect millions of people to friends, family, and life-changing services.”

Together Kai and ALTÁN Redes are focused on expanding internet access across Mexico, especially in rural communities with limited coverage. By 2024, ALTÁN’s goal is to reach 92.2% of the population, and advance its social coverage to reach the 7.2% of Mexicans living in towns with less than 5,000 inhabitants by 2022. By improving mobile internet availability and speed, Kai and ALTÁN Redes will open the door to invaluable digital resources related to education, healthcare, and banking services for millions of people for the first time.

“Our network is known as ‘The Shared Network’ due to our commitment to increasing mobile internet penetration across Mexico and offering the best technology (4.5G prepared for 5G) at the most accessible costs,” said Salvador Álvarez, CEO of Altán Redes. “We’re proud to partner with Kai to help millions of people in Mexico gain access to the internet for the first time; the KaiOS-enabled K26 is the perfect mobile device for our goal of connecting first time users to the internet.”

About KaiOS Technologies 

KaiOS  Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and  services, and  exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product,  KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than  135  million devices shipped in over  150  countries. Kai’s mission is to  open up  new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.  KaiOS  is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.

About ALTÁN Redes 

Mexican private company that develops and operates Red Compartida, the most important telecommunications project in recent years in Mexico. It is deploying state-of-the-art infrastructure to provide to 70% of the population coverage -before January 2022-, including an energetic nationwide program of social coverage deployment to areas of high marginalization and digital exclusion, with the intention to cover almost 100,000 localities of less than 250 inhabitants and more than 20,000 localities of less than 5,000 inhabitants. The technical capabilities and service experience of Altán-La Red Compartida network developed using 4.5G LTE technology over the 700 MHz spectrum, are currently the best offered, according to independent quality ranks published on the mobile market in Mexico.

Under a wholesale business model, it has more than 60 operators as wholesale clients, including the country’s main telecommunications operators and retail distributors, who sell the network’s services to the end-users. Altán-La Red Compartida network is developed under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contract with the Mexican Government to promote the vision of achieving a better and more connected country for its inhabitants, bringing Internet to everyone in the country. Altán’s commitment is to reach at least 92.2% of the Mexican population by 2024.

KaiOS Media Contact

Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139 3746 / +1 (206) 423-6081

ALTÁN Media Contact

prensa@altanredes.com

 

Press releases

KaiOS Technologies and wikiHow partner to close the global education gap

Hong Kong, China <21 July 2020> – Today KaiOS Technologies, maker of the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, announced a partnership with online how-to leaders wikiHow, making free, expert-reviewed, high-quality skills courses available to KaiOS users around the world. The new wikiHow app provides access to more than 150,000 step-by-step how-to articles, expanding the reach of valuable educational content to millions of smart feature phones in more than 150 countries.

Available to KaiOS users via the KaiStore, the wikiHow app features a set of how-to articles dedicated to helping people make the most of their KaiOS-powered devices, including step-by-step guides on connecting to Wi-Fi, downloading apps, and more. One can expect to find anything from articles on saving money to internet safety to relieving stress and anxiety as part of wikiHow’s expanding library of educational content.

“wikiHow’s expertly crafted how-to articles make step-by-step learning easy for first-time internet users,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “Together we can help those impacted by the digital divide learn how to use the internet, and build general life skills related to health, finances, and more from wikiHow’s extensive, curated library.”

“Our mission is to educate everyone on the planet,” said Elizabeth Douglas, CEO of wikiHow. “We’re very delighted to work with Kai to expand the reach of our guides to millions of people in need; together we can make knowledge more equitable around the world.”

According to the GSMA, lack of education is one of the largest barriers to closing the global digital divide, alongside the expense of digital devices. Digital literacy training is important in helping first-time users make the most of digital resources related to banking, healthcare, and education; however, devices capable of high-speed internet access have remained inaccessible to those in need. This partnership tackles both barriers at once, allowing users to access educational articles on thousands of topics from affordable KaiOS-powered devices.

About KaiOS Technologies

KaiOS  Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and  services, and  exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product,  KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than  135  million devices shipped in over  150  countries. Kai’s mission is to  open up  new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.  KaiOS  is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.

About wikiHow

wikiHow is a collaborative effort to create the world’s most helpful how-to guides. Available in 18 languages and read in every country and territory of the world, wikiHow helps over 150 million unique people learn how to do anything every month. Since 2005, wikiHow has helped billions of people to learn how to solve problems large and small. wikiHow works with credentialed experts, a team of trained researchers, and a devoted community to create the most reliable, comprehensive and delightful how-to content on the Internet.

KaiOS Media Contact

Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139 3746 / +1 (206) 423-6081

wikiHow Media Contact

Allyson Edwards, Head of Marketing
allyson@wikihow.com
+1 916 947 8911

Press releases

Econet launches the first low-cost KaiOS-enabled 3G phone in Zimbabwe

Harare <July 2, 2020>  – KaiOS Technologies, the makers of KaiOS – the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones – and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest mobile network operator with the broadest data network, today launched the Atom 3G phone. This is the country’s first 3G smart feature phone, and is set to help millions of Zimbabweans access the Internet and become digitally included.

Announcing the launch, Econet said the new handset will be bundled with a 3-month data package, offering customers 6GB of FREE data upon every purchase. The phone will be available at half the average price of a basic Android smartphone sold in Zimbabwe, making the Atom 3G the most affordable 3G device in the country.

The company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Navdeep Kapur, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made life difficult for people in Zimbabwe. We want to help them get online, communicate with their loved ones locally and abroad via WhatsApp, Sasai or regular cellular voice calls. We also want our customers to access valuable content at this time, such as medical tips and advice.”

Mr Kapur said the Atom 3G phone can be purchased from any Econet Shop or other distribution agents across the country and added that the phone supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

“The phone has a 2.4-inch display, 512MB of storage and supports a microSD card. It also comes with a powerful 1,500mAh battery that enables long and extended hours of talk time.

Atom 3G is priced at a level that is affordable for the millions of Zimbabweans who may not have the resources for a traditional smartphone, and we have included three months of free data as well to on-board new users and help them to access the mobile internet,” said Mr Kapur.

He said the long battery life, lasting up to 48 hours for the average user, was a critical feature for the informal sector in Zimbabwe and encouraged Zimbabweans to embrace the future by opening up to digitalisation. “It is now possible for all, with the new Atom 3G,” Mr Kapur said.

The launch of the Atom 3G is a major step towards full digital inclusion in Zimbabwe. According to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ)’s first quarter sector performance report for 2020, industry figures show that mobile data penetration is currently at 59.1%. The POTRAZ report also showed that WhatsApp usage constitutes 40.5% of the total mobile internet and data usage in the country.

The current penetration level presents an untapped opportunity of 40.9% of the population that is yet to be digitally included. This is aligned to Econet’s Digital Lifestyle Network positioning which emphasizes the enhancement of customers’ lives through digital transformation.

Across much of Africa, the key barriers to internet access are device & data affordability as well as digital literacy. Smart feature phones running on KaiOS have been developed specifically to address these gaps.

“With access to the soon-available SASAI all-in-one App, which includes the popular SASAI Health Status Report, the device is set to help individuals, families, employees, employers, policymakers and others manage and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic”, said Mr Kapur.”

The Atom 3G device also supports Google Assistant, which is especially useful for the less digitally literate users to easily interact with the device using voice commands. Other essential apps supported include Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook, and an in-house App called Life, which offers digital skills training and other educational material. These can be accessed on the phone from the KaiStore, which houses over 600 other data-lite apps.

Sebastien Codeville, the CEO of KaiOS Technologies, said: “We are delighted that KaiOS-enabled devices, which combine durability, affordability, and ease-of-use in one, are now available in Zimbabwe. With access to important, useful, and relevant content, we believe this device will enable every Zimbabwean to benefit from digitalization and positively impact their lives.”

About KaiOS Technologies

KaiOS  Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and  services and  exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones – and the third-largest mobile operating system in the world – with more than 135 million devices shipped in over 150 countries.

Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.

KaiOS  is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, and Google Maps.

For more information about KaiOS, please visit www.kaiostech.com and www.twitter.com/kaiOSTech

About Econet Wireless

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited is the largest mobile telecommunications, technology and digital solutions company in Zimbabwe. Now among the top three heavyweight counters, the company was listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in September 1998, less than three months after launching its commercial operations in July 1998.

Over the past 20 years Econet – which is by far the market leader in its industry with over 12.4 million connected customers – has invested millions of US dollars in deploying the widest and most robust 2G, 3G and 4G networks in the country.

Through its solid asset base, strong leadership and astute investment in talent, Econet has consistently led in innovation, product development and service delivery, enabling it to maintain and consolidate its market leadership position.

The company was the first to launch 3G services in 2009, the first to successfully launch mobile money services in 2011 under the name EcoCash, the first to launch mobile 4G in 2013, and the first to launch mobile insurance (EcoSure), among many other products and services it has rolled out.

So successful have Econet’s financial technology services been that in December 2018 the company successfully spun off its fintech businesses, to give birth to Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Ltd, now a leading counter on the ZSE.

Econet has built an extensive distribution channel network throughout the country, which has created employment for tens of thousands of Zimbabweans and significantly contributed to the country’s public finances through taxation and various levies and other statutory obligations.

The company has, for over 20 years, supported social impact programmes in education, public health and youth leadership development mainly through its annual grant to Higherlife Foundation, which has impacted over 250 000 orphaned and vulnerable children.

KaiOS Media Contact

Eletta Leung / Bridget Fishleigh
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / bridget@telecomsprafrica.com
+852 9139 3746 / +44 7946 342 903

Econet Wireless Media Contact

Fungai Mandiveyi
Fungai.mandiveyi@econet.co.zw
+263 772 793 500

Press releases

Lagos state government, KaiOS and Robert and John team up to enable students in Nigeria to continue education during and after COVID-19Smart feature phones with Roducate app being distributed across Lagos, Nigeria

Hong Kong, China <30 June 2020> – KaiOS Technologies today announced that its smart feature phones are being distributed across the state of Lagos to help school children continue their education during the COVID-19 lock-down period – and supplement their learning once schools re-open.

The initiative has been led by Robert and John Ltd, a Nigerian innovative Research & Development company, in partnership with the Lagos State Government and KaiOS.

The First Bank of Nigeria Ltd is sponsoring the first batch of 20,000 KaiOS-enabled devices which come with activated MTN data SIM cards. These devices are being distributed to school children from low-income families (where household income is below US$100 a month) who have one year of state secondary school left. Communal solar panels are being installed at central places within the villages so that the devices can easily be charged.

These smart feature phones running on KaiOS will have the Roducate app – and a handful of other useful apps preloaded. Access to other content will be blocked so the device will be solely for educational purpose.

Designed and developed by Robert and John, Roducate is the first mobile learning app in Nigeria with all the approved curriculum materials for Primary, Secondary and select University courses. It was launched in 2014 and is fully endorsed by Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC), National Universities Commission (NUC), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board(JAMB), African Union, and Microsoft.

Screenshot of Roducate

Roducate gives students access to full curriculum-based lecture notes, assignments, tutorial videos, podcasts, and mock exams with answers for state and nation-wide exams at all levels. The content can be downloaded onto the KaiOS phone and used online or offline.

Speaking from his office during a ceremony to mark the distribution of the first 20,000 smart feature phones, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State, requested that private companies in Lagos and beyond contribute to the initiative, with a target to sponsor 300,000 devices to school children in the coming months.

He also said “I am proud that Lagos State is taking the lead in Nigeria in using innovative technology to help improve the education of the next generation.  I am grateful to Robert and John for developing this impactful app, KaiOS for supporting the platform that integrates well the Roducate app and other essential content in affordable smart feature phones – and to First Bank for funding the first KaiOS devices”.

Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, Lagos State Commissioner for Education,said “The pandemic may well bring permanent changes to how we teach. We need to use every channel possible to reach children including e-learning.”

Mr Femisola Awosika, CEO, Robert and John, said: “Smart feature phones enabled by KaiOS are the best device for the target demographic for this project; the children of low-income families.  They have been specifically designed to minimise data usage with a long-life battery. Lagos is the pace-setter embracing new technologies to help improve the quality of education.  We hope that the other states in Nigeria – and indeed countries across Africa – are watching carefully”.

Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies, said: “This is an impressive e-learning initiative that has launched at a time when so many children are not at school. It fits perfectly with our mission to provide connectivity and services to the hundreds of millions of Africans who still don’t have access to the internet. Roducate provides everything the children in Nigeria need to continue their education at a very high standard.”

Robert & John is currently working with First Bank Plc, the Lagos State government, as well as other state governments and private institutions in Nigeria to secure more funding for additional KaiOS devices.

About Robert and John Ltd

Headquartered in Lagos, Robert and John is an innovative research and development company that uses technology to address social problems in Nigeria – and across Africa.

Its flagship product, the Roducate educational app, was originally designed for Nigerian students, however, it can be customised to include the curriculums of other countries so that e-learning can be introduced – or expanded.

About KaiOS Technologies

KaiOS  Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones – and the third-largest mobile operating system in the world – with more than 135 million devices shipped in over 150 countries.

Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.

KaiOS  is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, and Google Maps.

For more information, please visit www.kaiostech.com and www.twitter.com/KaiOSTech.

KaiOS Media Contact

Eletta Leung / Bridget Fishleigh
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / bridget@telecomsprafrica.com
+852 9139 3746 / +44 7946 342 903