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Tanzania’s Tigo gets Facebook kudos

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Tigo Tanzania was named among the top global socially devoted brands on Facebook in a report issued by SocialBakers, covering a study on the world’s top 10 socially devoted brands on Facebook in the last quarter of 2012.

Social networks, are becoming popular gateways for customers seeking help or updates in crisis situations and as a result of this, brands that are committed to their customers and have the capabilities are tapping into them. These social networks such as the worldly renowned Facebook, provide a better alternative to busy call centers and may inadvertently, through one post, respond to multiple customers sharing the same problem.

‚”Tigo Tanzania is prestigiously ranked 8th globally on the chart because of its never ending commitment to customer satisfaction. We value our customers greatly and invest a lot to ensure that we are always there for them when they need us. With the growth in digital technology there is more and more conversation in social networks, and Tigo being thought leaders and innovation pioneers in Telecom products saw this as an opportunity to engage with customers and interact. Everything we do at Tigo revolves around our subscribers, therefore there concerns, queries and comments are extremely important making this global recognition a great honor for us.” said Mr William Mpinga, Tigo’s Brand Manager.

According to SocialBakers‚’ Socially Devoted Study for October to December 2012, brands on Facebook are responding faster to questions from their fans. What previously took brands an average of 21 hours to respond to fans toward the end of June 2012, decreased to 19.5 hours during the end of 2012. Tanzania’s most innovative telecom operator, Tigo is ranked with an 87.30% response rate and 28 minutes response time.

‚””Tigo Tanzania is not only responding to its customer’s queries effectively, but it is also doing it with improved efficiency each time. Recognising the need and importance of timely feedback is what has earned us this great honor. We continuously work on innovative ways to improve our products and services and understand that in order to deliver successfully customer engagement is key at all levels of product delivery. We are where we are today because of our dedication to give immeasurable value to our subscribers, and with this honor we pledge to continue providing solutions that will make everybody smile.‚””, concluded Mr. Diego Gutierrez, Tigo’s General Manager.

Socialbakers is the leading global social media analytics company that provides social media network statistics and analysis from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube, helping companies monitor the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. Previous reports include the December 2012 Global Social Media Report, where an extensive study was carried out on the number of Facebook Pages and users globally in countries such as the United States, Kingdom and Brazil, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Mexico, Poland and El Salvador just to name a few.

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Africa gets broadband boost

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ITU and Nexpedience, a supplier of proprietary point-to-multipoint broadband infrastructure, are partnering to bring broadband access to Africa.

Under the terms of the deal, Nexpedience will provide 180 new Expedience base stations worth USD 1 million, to be deployed in six nations across the continent. The first nation to benefit from the new infrastructure is Burundi, with deployments also planned for Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Mali, Rwanda and Swaziland.

Designed to withstand extreme meteorological conditions and capable of providing up to 32 kilometres of sector coverage, Nexpedience’s base stations have been specifically designed for rural deployment.

ITU’s Wireless Broadband Network in Africa project aims to develop and implement wireless broadband connectivity and applications that will provide free or low-cost digital access for schools, hospitals, and under-served populations in rural and remote areas Africa-wide.

At the signing of the agreement in Geneva, Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) emphasized the need to make developing countries part of the global broadband revolution: ‚”This partnership represents another important element in ITU’s efforts to bring broadband technology to the world even in the poorest nations. I am confident that this new partnership will accelerate broadband uptake right across the African continent, bringing the power of high-speed connectivity to users everywhere, from big cities to small villages.‚”

Kiriako Vergos, CEO of Nexpedience said: ‚”Giving access to broadband technology to underserved populations in Africa is of great importance to us. There are enormous benefits to be derived from a ‚’broadband-seed’ deployment strategy, and we decided to partner with ITU because we know that the organization has the team in place to get it done.‚”

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Tour√© said the new agreement is a ‚”major step forward in getting Africa connected‚”. Dr Tour√© led the establishment of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in 2010, which has the aim of putting broadband at the heart of the global development agenda.

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Nokia backs tech hubs for developing world

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Nokia, AppCampus and infoDev are collaborating with mobile innovation hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America to act as scouts for local talent.

Nokia, AppCampus and infoDev, a global innovation program of the World Bank, have announced a collaboration with mobile innovation hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America – a move that will empower these hubs to act as scouts and agents for local talent, fast-tracking their access to AppCampus funding.

AppCampus was established in 2012 as a mobile application accelerator program managed by Aalto University in Finland. With an 18 million euro joint investment between Microsoft and Nokia, the aim is to foster mobile application development on Windows Phone and any other Nokia platform.

The announcement earmarks part of that investment fund for twenty six awards per annum for the best mobile innovation ideas to be made via the mobile innovation hub network, starting with infoDev’s mobile application labs in South Africa, Kenya, Armenia and Vietnam, as well as mobile application laboratories in Egypt (TIEC), Nigeria (CC Hub) and Mexico. The value of each award ranges from 20,000 Euro (US$ 26,000) to 70,000 Euro (US$ 90,000) depending on the complexity of the solution or business model behind the idea.

‚”By working jointly with the mobile innovation hubs, we are able to connect more effectively with local developers in emerging markets and provide support in terms of funding, especially for locally relevant innovations,‚” says Pekka Sivonen, Head of AppCampus. ‚”Although the criteria to access the AppCampus funding remains the same, with ideas needing to be original, competitive and scalable, the advantage is faster processing and the mentorship provided by these innovation hubs.‚”

The hubs and mLabs will be responsible for scouting talent and vetting ideas to be submitted to the global pool. infoDev’s mLabs foster regional entrepreneurship, employment and competitiveness by providing open spaces where developers can find training, mentoring, technical expertise and access to financing. In a short time, mLab-supported startups have brought over 120 commercial apps to market The best new entries from this network will compete against each other each quarter for the available awards.

‚”Nokia, working closely with infoDev, has supported the establishment and operation of a number of mLabs across emerging markets in support of local developers,‚” says Jussi Hinkkanen, vice president corporate relations for Nokia Middle East and Africa. ‚”The AppCampus collaboration showcases our commitment to strengthening the growing mLab network around the world and infoDev’s vision of supporting emerging market entrepreneurs in conquering local, regional and global markets‚”.

The official launch of the program took place during the mobile stream at the Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship in East London, South Africa, organized by infoDev and the South African Department of Science & Technology. A key theme of the Forum is how innovation can lead to high-growth entrepreneurship which creates sustainable jobs. Valerie D’Costa, infoDev’s Program Manager says, ‚”The AppCampus initiative fits with the philosophy of infoDev of supporting innovative entrepreneurs from developing countries. We want to support those who can excel with some level of mentorship, skills training and seed financing. We provide potential job-creators better access to markets, which is what we are all about.‚”

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