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Promoting financial inclusion: Mastercard


Ann Cairns, President of International Markets at MasterCard, talks to Banking Technology at MWC2014 about the growth of electronic payments to reach unbanked customers in emerging markets.

Vendors team with Facebook to drive connectivity in developing world


facebook-bigFacebook has created an initiative—Internet.org—to bring internet connectivity to the poor and underserved, recruiting a number of telecoms industry vendors as partners. But while the new group cites the importance of mobile operators in bringing connectivity to the unconnected, there are none among the founders.

Tunisiana using Facebook to drive mobile data uptake

Tunisiana believes it has found a way to entice users in emerging markets into increasing their reliance on mobile data services

The Tunisian subsidiary of Qatari operator group Ooredoo, Tunisiana, believes it has found a way to entice users in emerging markets into increasing their reliance on mobile data services. The operator said it saw the popularity of social networking site Facebook on fixed line networks in the country, and devised a tariff to cater to mobile users.

Mobile money could curb corruption in developing markets

Mobile money is helping workers in developing nations receive their full wage

Mobile salary dispersal is being used to fight corruption and ensure workers receive their full wage in emerging markets, according to the head of a mobile commerce and financial services solution provider.

Next billion mobile users to come from developing rural areas

Ovum forecasts that the next billion mobile users will come from rural areas in emerging markets

Operators can expect to see the next billion mobile connections to come from rural areas in emerging markets, according to analyst Ovum. The research house said although users in such areas typically do not have access to basic infrastructure or utilities, they are aware of the transformative potential of mobile phones and are eager to invest in a convenient device.

Facebook and Orange team up on dedicated handsets

The Alcatel One Touch 908F, developed in collaboration with Orange and Facebook

International mobile operator Orange has announced a collaboration with Facebook on a range of sub-€100 handsets described by Facebook’s head of mobile, Henri Moissinac, as featuring “the best set of integrations so far” of any device the social networking firm has co-developed. Orange said consumers who buy the handsets, which are built by Alcatel, will get “unlimited” access to Facebook as part of their data plan.

Broadband still out of reach for many

Broadband access is still unaffordable in many emerging markets

Despite falling prices, consumers living in emerging markets are still paying far more for broadband than their mature market counterparts, putting it completely out of reach for the majority of them, according to research firm Ovum.

Emerging market broadband prices stifling growth

South Africa was the most expensive broadband market covered by the Ovum study

Fixed broadband services in emerging markets are more expensive than in mature markets, keeping them beyond the reach of the majority of consumers, according to research house Ovum. The firm studied broadband prices across 19 emerging markets, including South Africa, Nigeria and Colombia, concluding that growth in fixed broadband is being seriously impeded by the high service cost.

Telcos risk losing ground in emerging markets mobile data battle

Carriers in developing markets need to change strategy if they are to stay relevant

Mobile operators’ dominant status in the emerging markets mobile content space is set to change due to strong competition from new platforms such as app stores. According to research undertaken by Ovum, operators need to make urgent adjustments to their content strategies if they are to adapt to rapid shifts in the market.

Google satellites to reach orbit in 2013

O3B announced this week that it had secured more funding

Google-backed satellite operator O3b Networks, which stands for “the Other 3 billion”, is set to launch services in 2013 after this week securing its final round of funding. The company has raised a total of $1.2bn from a group of investors and banks.

Investing in Africa tip one: Be innovative on pricing

Investing in Africa tip one: Be innovative on pricing

The first in our series of tips for potential investors in the African telecoms market. Here Informa Telecoms & Media reveals that operators that employ a lean, efficient business model will be best-placed to run a profitable operation on low tariffs.

Fixed broadband subs approach 500 mil.

Global fixed broadband subscriptions will reach half a billion in 2010

Global fixed broadband subscriptions will reach half a billion in 2010, driven by continued growth in emerging markets, according to figures released by Informa Telecoms & Media on Thursday.

Emerging markets may shame developed markets into action on the m-health front

Informa Telecoms & Media hosted the inaugural Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit in London in early December. It was a First World setting with predominantly First World protagonists and participants and a lot of First World technology on show. But it is the Third World – or emerging markets, to use a more current term – that might actually end up playing the leading role in mobile healthcare.

Intelsat puts a new bird in space

Intelsat puts a new bird in space

Fixed satellite operator Intelsat this week announced the successful launch of its latest bit of kit, the shiny new Intelsat 15 satellite (IS-15), which will replace the ageing 709 satellite.

African development continues apace

African development continues apace

At the start of 2006 it was clear that the African market was making an appearance on the radars of international companies. The following three years have been characterised by increased investment into the African continent, and the telecommunications industry can be seen as the perfect showcase for this activity.

Connecting the next two billion

Connecting the next two billion

Analyst forecasts indicate that around two billion more mobile subscribers will be added to the global market by 2013, with rural customers in emerging markets accounting for a majority of this growth.

Survival of the fittest

African incumbents are under threat

The prospect of consolidation among African and Middle Eastern operators has provided much fuel for the industry rumour mill in 2009, but the apparent collapse of talks involving Zain Africa as well as those between Bharti and MTN has not diminished the appetite for expansion.

Tower sharing offers opportunities for emerging markets

Tower sharing offers opportunities for emerging markets

While the large operators in Western Europe like Telefonica or Vodafone have instigated advanced active infrastructure sharing and outsourcing, telecom operators in developing markets are now beginning to look into alliances that would help relieve them of heavy costs and speed their expansion into rural areas.

Remote connections

Remote connections

Equipment vendor Nokia Siemens Networks has signed an agreement with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with the aim of bringing affordable connectivity to the world’s rural and remote areas.

O3b appoints new chief to steer course in emerging markets

O3b is targeting "the other 3 billion"

Google-backed satellite operator O3b Networks has hired a telecoms veteran to steer it on its course to bring internet connectivity to emerging markets.