Weekly Review September 15-21

From mobile developers to telecoms to the hardware itself, the mobile technology sector continues to make exciting progress in India, Africa, and Latin America.

How a Mobile Airtime Vendor Became Zimbabwe’s Fastest-Growing Bank” by Erik Mandell on Next Billion
African telecom EcoNet (last featured here) is running the most successful money money service in Zimbabwe.  EcoCash recently hit a significant milestone: 1 million subscribers in less than 6 months. EcoNet started off with a competitive advantage, controlling 70% of the market share of mobile phone users. Perhaps one of the smartest moves has been the deployment of 1,400 street agents to reach the low-end market. EcoNet’s EcoCash has the potential to be a similar success story to Safaricom’s M-PESA – stay tuned.

Glo Ghana Attracts 2 Million Users in Four Months” by Charlie Fripp on IT News Africa
Although yet to introduce a mobile money service, telecom Glo Ghana has attracted 2 million mobile phone users since its launch in May. Glo is now responsible for 8% of the market share of mobile phone users. The company prides itself on its ability to innovate and offer modern technologies and added value to its customers. Future plans include rollouts in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.

BackBerry Developers Kenya Inaugural Meeting | September 22, 2012 | iHub” by Rahcel Gichinga on iHub blog
This Saturday, the 22nd of September, BlackBerry will be engaging with Kenyan developers for the first time at iHub. BlackBerry will be hosting monthly meetings to encourage the Kenyan technology community to development applications for the BlackBerry platform. Turning to this market is likely a wise move for BlackBerry who is infamously lagging behind its competitors in the US and Europe. Click here to register.

Meet the $35 Tablet that Could Connect the World” by Gregory Ferenstein on Tech Crunch
The popular Aakash tablet that’s poised to revolutionize education in India has made its way onto TechCrunch. The team tested the newest version tablet, reporting that the 7.5-inch display is perfect for little hands, front facing camera is ideal for video conferencing, and web-browsing speeds are on par with the iPhone. Most importantly, the tablet has been tested for processing power and usability and passed. The Indian government is subsidizing the tablets for the initial rollout to universities across the country.

Opera Mini starts Latin American rollout, offers custom version to Telcel’s 67m Mexican mobile users” by Anna Heim on The Next Web
Opera Mini, the mobile web browser designed for light data usage, is now rolling out in Latin America with Mexico as its first market. Mexican telecom Telcel, which controls 70% of the Mexican market, will provide its 67 million subscribers a customized version of the mobile browser. Opera Mini allows users to experience a fairly priced “smartphone-like user experience across a broad range of handsets, including basic phones,” according to Telcel’s VAS Deputy Director, Alejandro Magana. This is the first of many anticipated rollouts in Latin America for Opera, which aims to reach 246 million additional subscribers belonging to Telcel’s parent company America Movil.

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