DataWind Inc has partnered Airtel to provide low-cost mobile Internet access in Nigeria via its Internet Delivery Platform.
DataWind is a leader of internet access delivery in emerging markets and Nigeria will be its first foray into Africa.
Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited, is a leading global telecommunications provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.
Airtel is also one of the four major telecoms companies in Nigeria. It offers 3G coverage throughout most of the country’s major cities and 2G in most of its rural areas.
According to recent reports, 88 million or 48% of Nigeria’s 185 million people are without Internet access; hence DataWind’s Internet Delivery Platform is a significant step forward in offering low-cost Internet connectivity to the populace.
The platform offers a compelling solution to bring the Internet to the unconnected. By using patented, cloud-based technology, Datawind’s solution reduces bandwidth consumption by factors of over 10 to 30 times.
This results in an affordable, broadband-like Internet experience on any data network and on 2G networks too.
The company at first will offer Internet access initially bundled with its low-cost tablets, computers and smartphones.
Following this, the company will launch a device-independent app that would provide the benefits of its technology to Android smartphone users in Nigeria at a very affordable cost.
“This new partnership and our entry into Nigeria represent an additional new milestone for DataWind following our success in India,”
DataWind Chairman, Raja Tuli, said.
“Now that we’ve established access to this market, we can focus on expanding our distribution channels across Nigeria. We are currently in discussions with a large retail chain and an online retailer, and expect to formalize these relationships over the next few months,”
Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Commercial & Strategy Officer, Ahmed Mokhles expressed delight at the partnership, saying Airtel is also “passionate about driving affordable mobile Internet service across the nooks and cranny of the country.”