Vodacom targets connectivity accessibility for underserved African regions

African operator Vodacom addressed one of the key talking points at AfricaCom, detailing some of its work and thoughts on how to drive digital uptake across the continent.

Speaking on the issue of delivering basic digital connectivity to severely underserved areas of Africa, the executive head of group sustainability for Vodacom, Suraya Hamdulay, began by setting out the operator’s objective.

“How do we empower communities to ensure their sustainability, their growth and their opportunities as we continue to grow as an operator?” she said. “There’s the issue of accessibility and the issue of affordability. How do we package data, voice and messages, into the smallest denomination? Like the 2 Rand bundle, how do we make that accessible and make connectivity possible to people in rural areas?”

Hamdulay then went on to discuss one of the new products Vodacom launched this week, a source of portable power for smartphones based on light energy – though she was quick to say that the operator doesn’t consider it to be solar.

“It allows you to directly stream the sun and turn it into power, and take it with you,” she said. “We don’t really call it solar because of some of the unreliability of solar. But this is to help ensure customers are able to be connected when they want to be and when they need to be.”

“We need to reach out to rural communities, so we need to ensure connectivity; we need to ensure they’ve got access to voice, that they’ve got access to messaging and that they’ve got access to data.”

  • Mission Critical Technologies Africa

  • West Africa Com

One comment

  1. Avatar Thomas Clyse 20/11/2015 @ 4:45 am

    This was the best panel at africacom this year , all speakers were full of information about African market and issues, the Mozilla Firefox speaker was an inspiration to me and my colleagues present.

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