Affordable internet capable devices are always something worth celebrating, even if they aren’t happening in our backyard. This week Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) partnered with KaiOS Technologies to introduce an affordable 4G capable phone. Last month we reported on the Smart Kambudzi, Econet’s 3G phone which was also in partnership with KaiOS.
Capabilities of the two devices aside, these phones go a long way in addressing the gap in connectivity in Africa. The TNM Smart 4G is fascinating, because 4G adoption is one of those things that Africa has lagged behind on.
Kenya’s Safaricom is addressing the gap by broadening 4G services and offering their customers the Neon Ray Pro. Safaricom customers will pay an initial deposit and then instalments of KES 20.00 per day (US$0.19) till the balance is settled.
The other way is through affordable smartphone enablers like KaiOS. Let’s take a look at what the TNM Smart 4G has got to offer.
TNM Smart 4G specs, price and launch bundle
The Smart 4G has a Mediatek MT6731 chipset which enables the device to have 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. The device has a 2.4 inch (6.1 cm) display and 4 GB onboard memory with expandable storage up to 32 GB via microSD. KaiOS also says that the device has a battery that gives around eight hours of talk time.
The device is priced at MK28 000 (US$38.00) and will come with 500 MBs of data, and 150 SMSes. That is a very good entry price and bundles package offer.
We need to see more of this
The march of affordable internet capable goes on. This device is very impressive. Wi-Fi and 4G capability means that even without data, if there is a free Wi-Fi spot somewhere users can still stay connected. I’ve got to hand it to KaiOS, this is one of many partnerships that make devices like these available in countries where to buy a device with features that Smart 4G has is beyond the reach of many. Here’s hoping we see even more collaborations like this one.