July 13, 2011
Movirtu's Cloud Phone for the world's poorest citizens
London-based Movirtu has launched a ‘cloud phone’ specifically for the developing world. It enables communities to share a single mobile phone, but individuals have their own numbers.
According to Balancing Act, the account details are stored in the operator’s hub and each individual user on the platform gets to store contacts and can have a service which forwards missed calls to another phone for when they are not logged in.
It also contains a gateway that will allow them to use m-money services like M-Pesa.
For the wealthier users in this low-end user group, there is a product called ManyMe with which the user can get several different numbers on the same basis. It currently works on any GSM handset but not CDMA, although they may extend to it in the future.
The product was being tested in 2010 and started being deployed as a pilot with several operators in Africa. Two weeks ago it went live with Airtel Madagascar.
Movirtu hopes to reach more than one billion people, primarily in Africa and South Asia, who previously could not afford a mobile phone.
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