LonZim, listed on the LSE Alternative Investment Markets (Aim), announced on Wednesday that FMNA, the company’s 51% owned subsidiary, signed agreements with Nigeria’s Glo Mobile which is part of Globacom Group and Kenya’s Essar Telecom.
This brings to five the number of agreements that the investment company has entered into on the continent and provides mobile e-mail and online chat access to more than 42 million mobile phone subscribers.
David Lenigas, executive chairman of LonZim, said: “We are extremely pleased with the progress FMNA is making. These two new partnerships make it five contracts for the use of FMNA’s unique telecoms solution in four African nations in the last year.”
The latest launch extends FMNA’s footprint across east, west and southern Africa following previous deployments with Econet Telecom Lesotho and Kenya’s Safaricom.
Lenigas added that they plan “several more deployments” across the continent and have also signed a contract with Econet Zimbabwe.
“FMNA’s new partnerships with Glo Mobile and Kenya’s Essar Telecom enable their entire subscriber bases to now exchange e-mail messages and online chat messages wherever they are, whenever they wish, and with whoever they like without the need for Internet access, expensive Smartphones, device upgrades or application downloads,” added Lenigas.
Using FMNA’s unique unified messaging platform, Glo Mobile and Essar Telecom provide access to low-cost mobile e-mail and online chat services on standard, SMS-enabled, first generation mobile phones to their entire 25 million and 1.6 million subscriber bases respectively.
FMNA chief operating officer, Jeremy George, said given the low internet penetration levels on the continent, this was one way of increasing the number of internet users.
“While internet access across Africa remains very low, mobile phones are the only way for the vast majority of Africans to ever access the Internet,” said George. “As the mobile telecoms market in countries with limited internet access continues to grow, FMNA provides people across Africa with low-cost, pay-as-you-go and easy-to-use two-way mobile email and online chat.”
FMNA’s platform transforms simple handsets into mobile messaging phones, which suits the African market which has limited access to complicated mobile technology.
“Our cloud computing approach turns basic handsets into virtual messaging smartphones and potentially gives millions of Africans access to internet messaging which otherwise, for both economic and technical reasons, would be unavailable to them,” added George.
FMNA specialises in unified messaging that supports seamless interoperability between SMS, e-mail and instant messaging clients for telecommunications operators.
The core product is Message Optimiser which allows telecom operators to immediately provide cost-effective comprehensive unified messaging services to all of their customers without any upgrades to the device or any need for downloading new applications onto the device.
This opens up a range of previously inaccessible services to many of their customers including two-way e-mail and two-way instant messaging communication capability.