Tag: africa

RIM Expands Presence In Nigeria as African Demand for BlackBerry Grows

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RIM has recently established an official presence in Nigeria: RIM Nigeria PLC. Nigeria is the 2nd fastest growing mobile market on earth after China and BlackBerry has seen tremendous growth there.
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Zantel Hires BlackBerry Development Shop to Kickstart African Apps Market

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Etisalat, which owns a controlling stake in Tanzania’s Zantel, has partnered with app development shop EMS, to develop a new app store for BlackBerry apps. The new store will provide a wide range of apps including games, instant messaging, social networking, news, weather and PIM apps. The Zantel chief commercial officer, Mr Norman Moyo said in the statement that his company decided to come up with the initiative after realising that Africa and Tanzania in particular is in dire need of BlackBerry applications. The problem with the new store is that the carrier should be partnering with RIM on the initiative, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. We know Etisalat has been spying on its users before, and even though it’s a Zantel initiative, the carrier’s reputation is very tarnished and one should be weary of anything they’re involved in.

If you’re interested in a Nigerian BlackBerry app development company, we recommend you check out 2shekels.com. The Nigerian IT firm has some interesting BlackBerry apps such as TagIt that lets you tag your friends in photos right on your BlackBerry. They also have a ScreenCap app that doesn’t add any watermarks unlike ScreenMuncher and supports sending the photos directly to UberSocial.

Yahoo! Launches App for Emerging Markets

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Yahoo! laucnhed an app for consumers in emerging markets where lower-end devices are the point of entry for the Internet. The app lets users in these regions access Yahoo!’s services more easily and gives them access to mail, messenger, Flickr, Fantasy Sports and Finance, with fewer clicks. Features of the Yahoo! app include:

  • Once downloaded, it remains persistent on the device, making the full catalog of Yahoo! services easier to use and discover
  • Reduces need for typing long URL’s into the mobile browser
  • Surfaces Yahoo! services that consumers may not have known about
  • Makes it easier to discover snippets of interesting Yahoo! news, sports and financial information throughout the day by surfacing everything in one place

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The BlackBerry solution arrives in Ghana – implications for poverty?

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map_of_ghana_zain_coverage

The above is a Zain network coverage map of Ghana. As you can see, major roads are the focus of coverage and BlackBerry devices will be a welcomed addition to the country’s infrastructure.

In a partnership with Zain and EMS, RIM have announced the availability of BlackBerry in Ghana, one of the most stable countries on the African continent.

The carrier Zain has a 3G network, which means that customers and government clients will be able to have access to enterprise-grade smartphones. The first devices to hit the market include the BlackBerry Storm, the Curve 8900, Bold 9000 and the Pearl Flip 8220.

The partnership brings together three crucial companies for helping to further expand the country’s infrastructure and better channel resources to the eradication of extreme poverty. Increasing productivity and transparency are two key elements of improving governmental and corporate affairs, and it’s the hope of BlackBerry Cool that RIM will be a significant player in this regard.

Imagine the following scenarios:

  • BES infrastructure is implemented in all major organizations to ensure communication is instant and efficient.
  • Government workers are able to send communications from the field directly to the departments responsible.
  • Small businesses are able to better serve their clients and be constantly available, regardless of whether or not they are in office.
  • Logistics for delivering food, materials and aid are all greatly improved by the BlackBerry solution.

This is surely going to have a positive impact on the economy.

What it’s like owning a BlackBerry in Nigeria

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[The following is a letter from a BlackBerry Cool reader in Nigeria, writing about what it's like to own a BlackBerry in that part of the world.]

I couldn’t have written about BB in Nigeria without writing about the history of telecommunications in the country.

About 8 years ago, we only had about one hundred thousand wired lines for all of us. When I say “all of us”, I mean about one hundred and forty million people. In order to use a phone, we often had to wait in lines that could be as long as one thousand people.

Only one service provider, MTEL, which is a subsidiary of the national carrier NITEL, was offering mobile analogue (etac) in about four cities.

In 1999, licenses were given to three GSM operators: MTN Nigeria, V-Mobile and MTEL.The nation was about to witness a phenomenal change in telecommunications. A change in the way we communicate, a permanent change for the rest of our lives.
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Vodacom and RIM Launch the BlackBerry Storm in South Africa

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Press Release

Johannesburg, South Africa and Waterloo, ON Vodacom South Africa and Research In Motion today announced the availability of the BlackBerry Storm smartphone in the South African market. The BlackBerry Storm will be available from Vodacom on January 28.

“The BlackBerry Storm is a next-generation smartphone designed to meet the communication and multimedia needs of the most demanding customers. With its renowned communications capabilities, rich multimedia features and stylish design, the BlackBerry Storm allows customers to make the most of their time on the go with a fashionable and lifestyle-friendly smartphone,” says Shameel Joosub, Managing Director, Vodacom South Africa.

The BlackBerry Storm will be available to both Vodacom’s Prepaid and Contract customers from participating Vodacom outlets, across South Africa. Customers can also call Vodacom Direct 0860 123 123 or go to www.vodacomdirect.co.za for the best deals and have the smartphone delivered to their door. Payments start as low as R59.00 per month for the BlackBerry Internet Service (Prepaid and Contract) and R98.00 for BlackBerry Enterprise Service (excluding device).

BlackBerry Storm Specifications and Preloaded Applications