DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, October 15 /PRNewswire/ --
Vodacom, supported by the GSMA Development Fund and by Qualcomm, through its Wireless Reach(TM) initiative, has connected Internet cafes in three of Tanzania's cities to its HSPA mobile broadband network, enabling locals to gain high-speed access to the vast repository of information and multimedia services on the World Wide Web. Run by local entrepreneurs, each Internet cafe is equipped with several computer terminals connected to Vodacom's HSPA network, which can provide download speeds of up to 7.2 megabits per second.
Tanzanians will be able to pay a small fee to use the computer terminals, which will enable them to access the Internet to find important information about everything from education to health to commodity prices to weather forecasts.
The initial three Internet cafes, in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Arusha, will be followed by more cafes in other parts of Tanzania. Housed in converted shipping containers, the cafes also will sell other Vodacom products and services, such as airtime vouchers, payphone calls and handset recharging, as well as acting as an agent for the M-pesa mobile money transfer service. In a country where fixed lines and computers are scarce, the cafes will enable many ordinary Tanzanians to enjoy Internet access and the many associated benefits for the first time in their lives.
Tanzania is one of the fastest developing countries in Africa today with an average GDP growth of 6.5 percent per year. Availability of information and communications are key to fostering this growth. Vodacom Tanzania, through its voice and data services for the last eight years, has been in the forefront of ensuring meaningful access to communications for the people of Tanzania.
"We are very proud to add to our bid as a total communication solutions provider to the people of Tanzania, our new alliance with the GSMA and Qualcomm will bring high-speed Internet cafes to this country," said Mr. Dietlof Mare, managing director of Vodacom Tanzania. "These Internet cafes will ensure fast, affordable and reliable access to information for students, the business community and all Tanzanians who need to communicate and stay in touch with what is happening in the country, in Africa and the rest of the world."
Vodacom Tanzania has drawn on the expertise and resources of the GSMA Development Fund and Qualcomm's Wireless Reach Initiative, to develop the business model and technology underpinning the Internet cafes. Having supported the deployment of several hundred Internet cafes connected to mobile networks in Bangladesh, the GSMA Development Fund has extensive experience in this field. Qualcomm, as a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and data solutions, including HSPA, is contributing by bringing its expertise to the project and enabling 3G software and hardware, network service, technology training and project management.
"Mobile broadband has the potential to bring affordable Internet access to hundreds of millions of people globally who live beyond the reach of fixed-line networks," said Dawn Haig-Thomas, director of the GSMA Development Fund. "The innovative shared access approach being deployed by Vodacom Tanzania demonstrates how operators can make the rich and important services offered by mobile broadband accessible to many more people."
"Qualcomm is pleased to support this project with the GSMA Development Fund through our Wireless Reach initiative," said Shawn A. Covell, senior director of international government affairs for Qualcomm. "The introduction of a mobile broadband technology such as HSPA will allow Tanzanians to connect to the world, enabling access to much needed resources at affordable prices. Supported by Vodacom's HSPA network, the Internet cafes will offer a gateway to educational, medical and other information essential to improving livelihoods."
About the GSMA:
The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade group representing more than 750 GSM mobile operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. The Association's members represent more than 3 billion GSM and 3GSM connections -- over 86% of the world's mobile phone connections. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association's initiatives.
The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers.
Vodacom Tanzania Limited (Vodacom) is Tanzania's leading cellular network offering state-of-the-art GSM/3G voice and HSDPA broadband communication services to more than 4.5 million customers across the country.
Vodacom Tanzania Limited has deployed state of the art technology, thereby enhancing its product portfolio and positioning itself as the market leader for any communication solution. For voice, data, leased lines, PABX connectivity, international connectivity, WiMAX fixed solutions, remote communication solutions over satellite or banking solutions, Vodacom Tanzania addresses the need. Vodacom Tanzania Limited continues to offer an exceptional network with a massive coverage and extraordinary quality of services at an affordable rate, with a view of empowering millions of Tanzanians with meaningful access to telecommunications.
For more information please visit, http://www.vodacom.co.tz
Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless voice and data services improves people's lives. The Company's Wireless Reach initiative supports programs and solutions that bring the benefits of connectivity to developing communities globally. Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access health care and reach global markets. For more information, please visit http://www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (http://www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 100 Index, the S&P 500 Index and is a 2008 FORTUNE 500(R) company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market(R) under the ticker symbol QCOM.
Qualcomm is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Wireless reach is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
David Pringle, Media Relations of GSMA, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Mwamvita Makamba, Public Relations Department of Vodacom, email@example.com; or Dan Album, Corporate Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, or John Gilbert, Investor Relations, email@example.com, both of Qualcomm