Smart Mobility: A Solution to Connectivity Issues in Africa

smart mobility
smart mobility

Smart mobility is the solution to Africa’s connectivity challenges.

This week I tested a very interesting mobile artificial intelligence app called VIKI.VIKI is an artificial intelligent  application developed by a Cameroonian, which allows for voice search on other mobile applications like opening a Facebook page, WhatsApp or twitter account. The downloading, installation, and use of the application were easy because my internet post-paid subscription  allowed me to do so.

Data consuming mobile applications require a large volume of mobile data and in sub-Saharan African countries like Cameroon, the context of access to connectivity is a big challenge.

According to GSMA intelligence, about 98% of users in Africa got prepaid subscriptions. This requires optimal management of income between refills voice, SMS, and mobile data. While many telecom operators offer flexible pricing plans, access to mobile internet in much of sub-Saharan Africa remains low and household consumer income is one of the explanatory elements.

The mobile internet access for all is a way to stimulate the consumption of products, E-commerce, mobile payment, mobile banking and the development of Internet start-ups.

Despite the fact that major internet groups like Facebook  already implement connectivity solutions at low cost with The internet.org project, innovative solutions for a mobile broadband in affordable price are low.

The Innovation solution needs global policies and also the commitment of start-ups, entrepreneurs or investors. In this quest for solutions to connecting access, we identified smart mobility as one of the key elements to impact the mobile data democracy in Africa.

The challenge of access to connectivity lies in the mobilization of digital economic policies, resources of Telecom operators and users. All these projects involve key players: the telecom operator and subscribers. These subscribers are stakeholders in economic activity through their smart mobility. Today in some cities, researchers use and test the mobility of people to generate power for street and building lighting.

In the case of connectivity access , smart mobility involves :

  • The city and the productivity
  • Interaction between users and online Marketplace
  • Interaction between users and mobile content
  • Exchanges between mobile subscribers and digital solutions (mobile payment, money transfer, mobile data)

In 2015, the volume of mobile money transactions reached $US 5 billion in Africa.

– Online shops as Konga and Jumia use the cash on delivery for online transactions.

-This Year the city of Kigali, Rwanda decided to connect Wi-Fi to its urban transport network.

This information from different sectors (E-COMMMECE, FINTECH, TRANSPORT), provide us with a rich and varied database of the intelligence of mobility for Internet access. The policy makers need  to compute the good information to export to right value; for example:

– Geographical position of mobile money shops,

-Choosing an online marketplace,

-The Distance between the train station and the university,

-The Meetings between the university and the traditional market or the shopping mall.

One of the telecom operators contributions  for an accessible Internet solution must take some of its sources in understanding the activities and mobility of those who make the digital economy.

How smart mobility and  connected communities can promote  the internet access?

Is there enough mobile users to monetize  and get value from smart mobility?

Let’s think about it.

 

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