The drive to bring affordable smart connectivity to tens of millions of Africans continues, this time through a partnership involving MediaTek, Digit and pan-African operator Vodacom.
MediaTek, a global fabless semiconductor company powering nearly two billion connected devices a year, has collaborated with device maker Digit to offer affordable 4G smartphones to Vodacom customers – in particular to make modern 4G/ LTE smartphones affordable to millions of Vodacom customers in South Africa, Egypt and Tanzania who are still using 2G devices.
The Digit4G Energy smartphone, as the first new device is called, is powered by the MediaTek MT6739, a feature-rich smartphone system on a chip (SoC).
Digit is leveraging the SoC to create a smartphone that delivers the DigitOS experience, 4G connectivity, front and back cameras, a touchscreen plus keyboard combo, preloaded apps such as WhatsApp, TikTok and Facebook, and an app store.
Abdul Rehman Mahmood, CEO of Digit, expands on this, saying: “Digit4G Energy is a unique combination of touch screen with keyboard, operating on DigitOS that ensures uninterrupted connectivity with advanced features like VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Hotspot and Bluetooth. Together with Vodacom, Digit will work towards making affordable 4G Phones available for all.”
According to the latest data from Vodacom, there are around 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who don’t have a smartphone – that is, who have either a 2G phone or no phone. This number includes 90 million Vodacom subscribers.
Thus Vodacom Group is working with players like Digit and MediaTek to create a value chain to drive migration of 2G and 3G users to 4G devices and ensure unconnected customers can get the opportunity to participate in the digital world. Pricing and planned extensions to the range do not yet appear to have been revealed.