Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Orange develops Internet browser for smartphones in Africa

Telecommunications company Orange has signed a strategic partnership – on an exclusive basis – with Baidu, the Chinese internet company, to develop a co-branded Internet browser for smartphone customers in Africa, the Middle East and Asia (AMEA). The partnership marks the first time Baidu has signed such an agreement with a global operator, and supports Orange and Baidu’s aim to make the mobile web available for all in emerging markets.
Orange has signed a strategic partnership with Baidu, the Chinese internet company, to develop a co-branded internet browser for smartphone customers in Africa (image: file)
Mobile Internet usage in Africa is increasing rapidly as Orange continues to deploy 3G networks and make more low-cost smartphones available, customers have been steadily moving from basic feature phones towards more low-cost Android smartphones.
Orange, which has a mobile customer base in AMEA of nearly 80 million customers, has continued to see its smartphone user base in AMEA increasing, for example the demand for Android devices in Egypt has doubled in H2 2012.
The new Orange and Baidu browser offers a highly customisable but simple interface for customers in AMEA, enabling them to access web-based apps and Internet services unique to Baidu and Orange, as well as services like Wikipedia, Facebook or Twitter, amongst others.
Customers are expected to benefit from a new, feature rich user interface that provides one-click access to all of their preferred local and global services. The company also emphasises the benefits of a browser that is faster and more data efficient compared to other browsers, reducing the amount of data consumed by 30-90% depending on the types of services and files accessed.
Orange and Baidu have already developed an Arabic and English browser, being launched for Mobinil customers, and both companies are now working to launch French versions of the browser for countries across Orange’s African & Middle East footprint.
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