Microsoft launches 4Afrika initiative with Huawei W1 variant, TV white area broadband venture

Microsoft launches 4Afrika initiative with Huawei W1 variant, TV white space broadband project

Following the lead of co-founder Invoice Gates Microsoft is taking extra curiosity in Africa, saying its 4Afrika Initiative with a said purpose of enhancing the continent’s international competitiveness. There are a number of plans underneath approach as part of the challenge, with one of many first being a brand new Home windows Telephone eight system from Microsoft and Huawei. Pictured above, the Huawei 4Afrika telephone is a specifically tailor-made model of the prevailing Ascend W1 meant as an reasonably priced choice (no worth introduced but) for first time smartphone consumers that additionally comes preloaded with apps created by African builders for African shoppers, and a subsection of the prevailing Home windows Telephone Retailer that may proceed to concentrate on “regionally-related” apps and content material. It is going to be out there in blue, pink, black and white when it launches later this month in Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.

One other a part of the push is a pilot venture Microsoft is engaged on with the Kenyan authorities and Indigo Telecom which mixes photo voltaic powered base stations utilizing TV white area know-how to supply reasonably priced wi-fi web entry. Meant to convey broadband to locations that at present lack even electrical energy, the deployment known as Mawingu, connecting a healthcare clinic and a number of other faculties in its preliminary check. After a number of years of pushing the tech, which takes benefit of unused TV broadcast spectrum, Microsoft hopes to persuade different nations to make the authorized/regulatory modifications to start out utilizing it as nicely. There is a press launch after the break with extra particulars, in addition to a video and extra info out there past the supply hyperlinks.

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Microsoft Introduces the 4Afrika Initiative to Assist Enhance the Continent’s International Competitiveness Feb. 04, 2013 Efforts give attention to accelerating adoption of sensible units, empowering small and medium-sized companies, and elevating expertise improvement to ignite African innovation for the continent and for the world.

REDMOND, Wash. – Feb. four, 2013 – Microsoft Corp. in the present day launched the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, a brand new effort via which the corporate will actively interact in Africa’s financial improvement to enhance its international competitiveness. By 2016, the 4Afrika Initiative plans to assist place tens of tens of millions of sensible units within the palms of African youth, convey 1 million African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on-line, upskill one hundred,000 members of Africa’s present workforce, and assist a further one hundred,000 current graduates develop employability expertise, seventy five % of whom Microsoft will assist place in jobs.

“The world has acknowledged the promise of Africa, and Microsoft needs to spend money on that promise. We need to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, builders, and enterprise and civic leaders to show nice concepts right into a actuality that may assist their group, their nation, the continent and past,” stated Fernando de Sousa, common supervisor, 4Afrika Initiative. “The 4Afrika Initiative is constructed on the twin beliefs that know-how can speed up progress for Africa, and Africa also can speed up know-how for the world.”

As a primary essential step towards growing the adoption of sensible units, Microsoft and Huawei are introducing the Huawei 4Afrika, a full-performance Home windows Telephone eight, which can come preloaded with choose purposes designed for Africa. The telephone will initially be out there in Angola, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa later this month. The Huawei 4Afrika telephone, which is the primary in a collection of sensible units designed “4Afrika,” will probably be focused towards college college students, builders and first-time smartphone customers to make sure they’ve reasonably priced entry to greatest-in-class know-how to allow them to attach, collaborate, and entry markets and alternatives on-line. (See associated launch and weblog.)

To enhance know-how entry, Microsoft additionally introduced the deployment of a pilot undertaking with the Kenyan Ministry of Info and Communications and Kenyan Web service supplier Indigo Telecom Ltd. to ship low-value, excessive-velocity, wi-fi broadband and create new alternatives for commerce, schooling, healthcare and supply of presidency providers throughout Kenya. The deployment is known as “Mawingu,” which is Kiswahili for cloud. It’s the first deployment of photo voltaic-powered base stations working along with TV white areas, a know-how partially developed by Microsoft Analysis, to ship excessive-velocity Web entry to areas presently missing even primary electrical energy. Microsoft hopes to implement comparable pilots in East and Southern Africa within the coming months to additional discover the business feasibility of TV white area know-how. These pilots might be used to encourage different African nations to speed up laws that might allow this TV white area know-how to ship on the promise of common entry for Africa. (See associated launch and weblog.)

To assist empower African SMEs, Microsoft introduced a brand new SME On-line Hub by means of which African SMEs could have entry to free, related services from Microsoft and different companions. The hub will combination the obtainable providers, which will help SMEs broaden their companies regionally, discover new enterprise alternatives outdoors their fast geographies and assist improve their general competitiveness. As a welcome supply, Microsoft will present free area registration for one yr and free instruments for SMEs keen on creating knowledgeable Net presence. The hub is predicted to initially open in April in South Africa and Morocco and can increase to different African markets over time.

To speed up capability constructing and expertise improvement, Microsoft has established the Afrika Academy, an schooling platform leveraging on-line and offline studying instruments, to assist Africans develop each technical and enterprise expertise for entrepreneurship and improved employability. Coaching by way of the Afrika Academy might be obtainable beginning in March for free of charge to current greater schooling graduates, authorities leaders and the Microsoft companion group. One of many first offline coaching periods will happen with Microsoft-managed companions in Ivory Coast within the coming months, specializing in capability constructing in enterprise and technical expertise for Microsoft’s companions in Francophone West Africa.

The 4Afrika Initiative shall be tightly related to Microsoft’s community of greater than 10,000 present companions in Africa at the moment, a community it has constructed by way of greater than 20 years of investing and working within the continent. The 4Afrika Initiative will leverage these present partnerships and create new ones throughout the private and non-private sectors to assist advance widespread objectives and to create worth for Africans. Along with its companions, Microsoft has initiated numerous different efforts in current months as a part of the 4Afrika Initiative:

AppFactory (South Africa and Egypt). Microsoft is hiring 30 paid scholar interns to employees the AppFactory – facilities to which the general public can submit requests for Africa-related Home windows purposes (Home windows eight or Home windows Telephone). These requests are being crowdsourced for voting, and the preferred concepts are assigned improvement assets to construct and launch the apps within the Home windows Retailer. Already, the AppFactory groups have constructed seventy three Home windows apps and 39 Home windows Telephone apps, and at full capability, the groups plan to contribute roughly ninety new apps to the Home windows Retailer per 30 days.

Nokia and Home windows Telephone consumer coaching (Kenya and Nigeria). Microsoft has established agreements with Safaricom in Kenya and Bharti Airtel in Nigeria to speed up native adoption of the Nokia Lumia 510 and Nokia Lumia 620 Home windows Telephones. In Nigeria, ninety five % of telephones bought are function telephones. Via these agreements, Microsoft is funding in-retailer coaching for shoppers who buy these Nokia fashions with a knowledge plan. The coaching explains the advantages of proudly owning a smartphone, serving to make these smartphones higher understood and, subsequently, extra fascinating for shoppers.

Feminine empowerment portal (North Africa). This portal focused at North African ladies will launch in March as an offshoot of the MasrWorks IT expertise portal. It’s designed to empower younger ladies to play a management position of their communities, construct their expertise and vanity, and introduce new fashions for self-employment. It is going to present IT expertise coaching and softer-expertise coaching on subjects together with management, self-confidence and interviewing, in addition to the mentorship wanted to construct an extended-time period profession in know-how. The mentorship will probably be offered by way of a sustained engagement between Microsoft, its companions, an area NGO and the beneficiaries to help them in profession constructing and to plan their position in society as feminine leaders.

“We consider there has by no means been a greater time to spend money on Africa and that entry to know-how – notably cloud providers and sensible units – can and can function an excellent accelerator for African competitiveness,” stated Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft Worldwide. “The launches of Home windows eight and lots of different new merchandise within the coming months symbolize a brand new period for Microsoft, which we consider will redefine the know-how business globally. These further investments underneath the 4Afrika banner will assist outline our firm’s new period in Africa.”

Simultaneous launch occasions to kick off this new period in Africa are happening as we speak in 5 places spanning the continent: Cairo; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Lagos, Nigeria; Nairobi, Kenya; and Johannesburg. In all places apart from Cairo, Microsoft will even be internet hosting separate developer workshops within the coming weeks to facilitate and speed up the event of latest and progressive Home windows purposes for Africa, by Africans.

Extra info might be discovered at http://www.microsoft.com/4Afrika.

Microsoft Groups With the Authorities of Kenya and Indigo Telecom to Ship Low-Value, Photo voltaic-Powered Broadband Entry Utilizing Slicing-Edge TV White Area Know-how

Pilot is a part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative to assist enhance continent’s international competitiveness.

NAIROBI, Kenya – Feb. 5, 2013 – Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with the federal government of Kenya’s Ministry of Info and Communications and Indigo Telecom Ltd., immediately introduced the launch of a pilot undertaking delivering low-value wi-fi broadband entry to beforehand unserved places close to Nanyuki and Kalema, Kenya. The community makes use of TV white areas and photo voltaic-powered base stations to ship broadband entry and create new alternatives for commerce, schooling, healthcare and supply of presidency providers.

This pilot is a part of Microsoft’s broader 4Afrika Initiative (see associated launch), to assist enhance the continent’s international competitiveness. A core aim of the 4Afrika Initiative is to facilitate entry to know-how for the plenty and to empower African college students, entrepreneurs, builders and others to develop into lively international residents.

TV white areas, the unused parts of wi-fi spectrum within the frequency bands usually used for tv, are notably properly-fitted to delivering low-value broadband entry to rural and different unserved communities. Radio alerts within the TV bands journey over longer distances and penetrate extra obstacles than different forms of radio alerts and, subsequently, require fewer base stations to offer ubiquitous protection. Microsoft intends to make use of this pilot and different comparable initiatives to encourage African governments to make the wanted authorized and regulatory modifications that may permit this kind of know-how to be deployed continentwide.

‘Mawingu’ is the primary deployment of photo voltaic-powered base stations working along with TV white areas, a know-how partially developed by Microsoft Analysis, to ship excessive-velocity Web entry to areas presently missing even primary electrical energy.

“Microsoft was constructed on the concept know-how ought to be accessible and reasonably priced to the plenty, and thus far, this promise has remained unfulfilled in Africa,” stated Louis Otieno, Authorized and Company Affairs director for Africa initiatives at Microsoft. “This know-how has the potential to ship on the promise of common and reasonably priced excessive-velocity wi-fi broadband for Africa, and we’re proud and humbled to be a part of this essential effort.”

The venture is the primary deployment of TV white area know-how in Africa focused at communities with out entry to broadband or electrical energy and is a results of a memorandum of understanding that presents a framework of cooperation between Microsoft, the Kenyan Ministry of Info and Communications and business associate Indigo Telecom. Up to now, work on this area in Africa has solely targeted on demonstrating the technical feasibility of utilizing TV white area know-how. This venture takes an essential subsequent step ahead by as an alternative specializing in assessing the business feasibility of delivering low-value entry utilizing TV white area know-how.

The preliminary set up close to Nanyuki consists of 5 buyer places: the Burguret Dispensary (healthcare clinic), Male Main Faculty, Male Secondary Faculty, Gakawa Secondary Faculty and Laikipia District Group Library. The set up in Kalema will start with a base station that connects to a authorities of Kenya agricultural extension workplace. Fourteen extra places on the community might be added within the coming months. The community may even function white area radios manufactured by Adaptrum.

Using the newest Window eight tablets, Home windows eight purposes and Microsoft Workplace 365, Indigo will present pc labs and instruction to every faculty and the library and work with group leaders and native corporations to determine probably the most useful providers and purposes for every location, together with within the agriculture and schooling areas.

“Indigo is dedicated to discovering and deploying one of the best options for our clients’ wants, which on this case means bringing broadband entry to beforehand unserved communities,” stated Peter Henderson, chairman of Indigo Telecom, the native Web service supplier partnering within the venture. “Past merely offering entry, we now have given the group an actual stake within the pilot’s success by making a cooperative to handle the challenge, an effort that included hiring and coaching a area people member to function the lab technician.”

“TV white areas and environment friendly spectrum administration symbolize a artistic, examined and reasonably priced means of extending broadband entry to unserved communities,” stated Paul Garnett, director in Microsoft’s Know-how Coverage Group. “Kenya is likely one of the nations main the best way in utilizing this revolutionary answer, and we hope regulators all over the world take notice and develop authorized frameworks that help broader business deployment of TV white area know-how in their very own jurisdictions.”

Based in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide chief in software program, providers and options that assist individuals and companies understand their full potential.

Word to editors: For extra info, information and views from Microsoft, please go to the Microsoft Information Middle at http://www.microsoft.com/information. Net hyperlinks, phone numbers and titles have been right at time of publication, however might have modified. For extra help, journalists and analysts might contact Microsoft’s Speedy Response Staff or different applicable contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/information/contactpr.mspx.

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