New smart feature phone closes Tanzania digital divide



from MTHULISI SIBANDA in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) THE launch of a new smart feature phone in Tanzania is anticipated to bridge the digital divide in the East African country.

KaiOs Technologies, Vodacom, Azumi and Media Tek have launched the gadget known as the Smart Katochi.

Retailing at TZSh 48 000 (US$20), it enables 3G and 4G connectivity.

Other smartphone-like features include Wi-Fi and Global Positioning System.

According to company executives, the uptake of the device has exceeded expectations with stock sold out within days of the introduction of the phone to the market.

Sylvester Moyo, Executive Head of Terminals, Vodacom International Business, said the introduction of the Smart Katochi was momentous in Tanzania, a country with a smartphone penetration of 30 percent.

“Smartphones are unaffordable to the majority in Tanzania,” he said at an event held at the sidelines of AfricaCom in Cape Town.

“Given this is the first device of its kind in Tanzania, it is very exciting that people are embracing the product with open arms and are enthusiastically transitioning to the digital world,” Moyo said.

He disclosed the mart feature phone will also be rolled out in Lesotho and Mozambique-Vodacom’s other markets.

CAJ News Africa can disclose the Smart Kotichi will be introduced in South Africa in the second quarter of 2020.

Sebastian Codeville, Chief Executive Officer of Kai Technologies, said the introduction of the gadget in Tanzania would address the digital divide, which he noted was prevalent in many parts of Africa.

“We know devices like the Smart Kotichi will positively impact people’s lives,” Codeville said.

The Smart Kotichi comes with a monthly bundle of 4GB data, 100 minutes talk time and 500 SMS.

KaiOs is a light operating system enabling a new category of affordable smart feature phones that require limited memory, while enabling a rich use experience.

– CAJ News

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