Etisalat deal to make web apps accessible on all handsets

The deal makes web services available on any mobile handset. (Image source: Jakub Krechowicz/stock.xchng)A partnership between Mahindra Comviva and Etisalat will enable rich web applications to be offered on even basic mobile phones across Africa

The new low-cost USSD messaging service will mean Etisalat’s 139mn subscribers across Africa, the Middle East and Asia will now be able to gain access to email, social networking and messaging services.

The agreement between Etisalat and mobile financial and value added solutions provider, Mahindra Comviva, was signed at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Subscribers will be able to access the web services by either downloading an application or via USSD, SMS or MMS messages, eliminating the users' dependence on smartphones.

The first Etisalat market to deploy the new messaging solution is Etisalat Nigeria, whose 15mn subscribers will soon be able to enjoy the benefit of advanced communications on any handset.

“Nigeria has a vast population of young people, a majority of which are basic-phone holders with no or minimum data capabilities," said Steven Evans, CEO of Etisalat Nigeria.

"As we continue to attract new customers to our network across various segments, it is our desire that we are able to address their needs to enjoy emailing, instant messaging, and social networking amongst other services no matter the type of handset they are using."

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