MTN introduces Android technology to Uganda

MTN Uganda signed up the first Android-FROYO powered mobile phone in Uganda, the IDEOS U8150. Introducing the first and most affordable Android Smartphone onto the Ugandan market, with which the company “rates will allow even average users to take advantage of the 3G+ data network”.

Android is a mobile operating system owned by Google, lauded in 2010 as the world’s best-selling Smartphone platform.

The IDEOS U8150 handset was launched globally at the end of 2010 and is described by Huawei Technologies as the simplest, most affordable and accessible Android Smartphone in the world. It has a 528MHz Processor, making it quickly responsive to commands and is compatible with High-Speed 3G plus networks and wireless networks. The phone has a touch screen display, high resolution screen, a 3.2 Mega Pixel Camera and supports functions such as voice dialing, voice navigation, social networking and the ability to run applications off the SD card. With numerous applications available in the Android Market, IDEOS U8150 provides a wide range of communication, entertainment, office, and financial management applications.

“We are proud to be leading in this field not only because this is a Smartphone handset that will enable everyone to use our data services, but also because by introducing Android, we are giving Ugandans an opportunity to own and use a Smartphone and to harness the power of reliable, high speed internet services off MTN’s 3G+ network,” said MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Themba Khumalo.

Khumalo said the development and introduction of the IDEOS U8150 phone was a continuation of the company’s decentralization of telecommunication services across Uganda.

“We began this about fifteen years ago by making basic voice telecommunication services available everywhere in the country. Last year, we introduced a high speed 3G+ data network that provided the cheapest, fast reliable internet access to the largest number of users countrywide off their mobile phones. Now, we have brought in affordable mobile phones using a world class platform to advance this cycle,” Khumalo said. MTN continues to be at the forefront of making communication more affordable and accessible, you will remember other introductions onto the market such as prepaid services, charging in Uganda shillings, MTN Zone and more. The IDEOS phone is not the last on the list – it is just the next big thing,” Khumalo added.

The Android platform which enables software developers to create applications that extend the functionality of mobile phones such as the IDEOS is highly popular with the ICT community. There are currently over 200,000 apps available for Android phones, which can be downloaded from Google – Android Market.

Ugandan ICT developers welcomed the MTN Uganda announcement readily.

“This is very welcome because it offers an alternative to what has been pre-dominant on the market and is readily available – in particular Nokia devices. Android as a platform is growing considerably the world over and it is important for us to be able to contribute to this growth by developing appropriate applications and content to run on the platform. Being an open-source platform, the devices available on Android are also growing by the day, and this variety is very good for the developers. Once you have the content and apps that people can relate to – for example, we can have apps in local languages, then demand for devices with grow naturally,” said Michael Niyitegeka, Lecturer of IT Strategy and Management at Makerere University.

Source – Corporate Social Responsibility Africa – by Millicent Mugweru