Ericsson has announced plans to establish a mobile innovation centre in Africa to develop mobile-health applications and services for rural communities in Africa and other emerging markets. The initiative is part of the company's ongoing support to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals.
The Ericsson Innovation Centre will include three hubs in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya focused on developing applications for health, education, agriculture, business development, finance, government services and communication capabilities. The centre will also enable network operators to introduce and expand mobile broadband services through affordable and sustainable applications and services.
The centre leverages the company's experience from the Gramjyoti project, which brought telemedicine, m-learning and m-governance to rural communities in India, and the Alokito Bangladesh project, which brought high-speed, Internet-enabled mobile learning and healthcare to the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
Jan Embro, president of Ericsson in sub-Saharan Africa, said: "Mobile communication provides tools to deliver enormous socio-economic benefits to people in developing countries. Connectivity helps to offset a lack of resources, particularly in rural areas, and provides access to a range of services. More than 90% of new mobile subscriber growth will be in emerging markets."
Since last year, the company has established new global service delivery centres in Pakistan, Lebanon and Romania to provide consulting and education services for emerging markets, where the company expects most subscriber growth will happen in the next five years.