Orange is launching a new retail mobile offer including a smartphone, Internet access, voice and text starting at less than €35 ($40) in 13 of Orange’s markets in Africa, including, but not limited to, Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Cameroon, Botswana, Madagascar, Mali, The Ivory Coast, Jordan, Niger, Kenya and Mauritius.
Orange smartphone sales doubled in 2014, and the new bundle is aimed at consumers that have found the traditional offers unaffordable.
Mobile data revenues have grown 44 percent year over year, Orange said.
“Although the smartphone revolution is well under way across the African continent, there remains a proportion of the population that so far has been underserved, not just because of the cost of handsets, but because of concerns about data costs,” said Yves Maitre, Orange EVP.
Depending on the market, a typical data bundle will be up to 500 megabytes per month for six months, with the opportunity to top-up when reaching the end of the bundle.
However, across the participating markets customers may have access to shorter or longer data plans.
The smartphone will also provide access to content including Star Africa, the entertainment portal, Orange Football Club as well as partner services like Dailymotion, the video sharing service.
All-important local content, for example, the popular sports portal, Ndamli, in Senegal and Anghami, a music catalogue service providing access to millions of Arabic and international songs will be readily available.
Additionally, customers will have access to the burgeoning Firefox Marketplace, providing access to thousands of apps, Orange said.
The new offer will extend Internet access to new customer segments. But costs might still be an order of magnitude too high for hundreds of millions of consumers. Eventually, we will get there.