Low-cost cloud mobile services to reach villages in Madagascar

One of Madagascar’s leading operators is targeting the country’s Village Phone Operators (VPOs) with a new cloud-based mobile service. Airtel Madagascar has commissioned Mobile Identity Management (MIM) provider Movirtu to implement the Movirtu Cloud Phone service across the island nation.

The service, which has been piloted with several VPOs, is part of a bid by Airtel to attract new subscribers from rural areas in Madagascar - around 70% of the country’s rural consumers do not currently have access to mobile phones. Cloud Phone and its associated mobile payment and information services will target those on between $1 and $2/day and in rural areas at a highly competitive price.

Movirtu Cloud Phone provides a user with a unique and permanent mobile number for sending and receiving calls and SMS. The number is accessed through any mobile phone and is used for payment and information services as well as making or receiving voice calls. The Cloud Phone customer uses the same top-up vouchers, applications and operator care system as any prepaid user.

“The Cloud Phone supports Airtel Madagascar’s aim to increase penetration of mobile services to rural users,” said Nigel Waller, Founder and CEO of Movirtu. “Both Movirtu and Airtel recognise the needs of those earning less than $2 a day, who have previously been left out of mobile phone or SIM ownership for reasons of affordability”.

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