(Ecofin Agency) - Orange has reached a partnership with Google to launch a low-cost android device on African markets from October 2020. The first markets to receive the 4G phone -Sanza Touch- will be Guinea-Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire, and Madagascar.
The French operator intends to foster digital inclusion, thus allowing a greater number of people to have access to mobile internet, especially in rural areas. The strategy is a new source of income for the company.
According to Alioune Ndiaye, Director of Orange for the Middle East and Africa, “one of the barriers to Internet use is the price and ease of use of most smartphones. The partnership with Google to offer the Sanza touch smartphone for sale will enable us to solve this problem thanks to its affordability and advanced functionalities.”
“While 90% of the world's population is now covered by mobile broadband, 3.3 billion people who live in areas covered by mobile broadband remain unconnected for reasons such as affordability, low levels of literacy and digital skills,” he added.
Mariam Abdullahi, Director, Platform Partnerships, Android and Play-Africa for Google said, “our mission at Google has always been to "Organise the world's information and make it universally accessible to everyone […] We can only achieve this mission if everyone can access devices at affordable price points to use in their daily lives and have access to the benefits presented by the digital world."