Econet introduces low-cost KaiOS-enabled 3G phone in Zimbabwe

Econect Atom 3G announcement 01KaiOS Technologies, a leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s mobile network operator with the broadest data network, has launched the Atom 3G phone

Announcing the launch, Econet said the new handset will be bundled with a three-month data package, offering customers six GB of free data each time they buy. The phone will be available at half the average price of an Android basic smartphone sold in Zimbabwe, making the Atom 3G the country's affordable 3G device.

Navdeep Kapur, chief commercial officer,  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.”

Kapur said the Atom 3G phone can be purchased throughout the country from any Econet shop or other distribution agents 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,” added Kapur.

The long battery life, which lasts for the average user up to 48 hours, is a critical feature for Zimbabwe’s informal sector in order to embrace digitalisation, according to Kapur.

The Atom 3G device supports Google Assistant, which can help users who are less digitally literate to easily interact with the device using voice commands.

Other essential apps that are supported include Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook, and an in-house Life app that offers training in digital skills and other educational material. These can be accessed from the KaiStore, which houses more than 600 other data-lite apps on the phone.

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