Free Calling and Texting in Africa When Mara Online and Plingm Form Strategic Partnership
STOCKHOLM, February 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Mara Online, part of the African conglomerate Mara Group, and Plingm, the Swedish mobile VoIP application provider, form a strategic partnership to develop mobile communication in Africa. Together the partners will market a free mobile VoIP app called Mara ConnectTM, allowing smartphone and tablet users across Africa to call and text for free, both domestically and internationally.
In spring this year, the mobile application Mara ConnectTM will be available in App Stores and Google Play across Africa, both for iOS and Android. Calls and texting to all Mara ConnectTM users will be free, regardless if it is domestic or international. Already today, 17% of the 644M mobile subscriptions in Africa are smartphones (source: Blycroft), a number that is expected to grow rapidly over the next years given the increasing number of inexpensive smartphones becoming available on the market.
"This is an exciting mobile technological advancement designed specifically for Sub Saharan African countries. As the African mobile and internet markets expand, we expect that Mara ConnectTM will be the premier choice for connecting people across the continent while reducing consumers' costs for mobile communication throughout Africa," says Ashish J. Thakkar, founder of Mara Group.
The Mara ConnectTM app will be based on Plingm's existing freemium VoIP application. The Plingm application stands out amongst mobile VoIP applications because its calling and messaging features are integrated with social media giants Facebook and LinkedIn. Additionally, with this VoIP application, the user is able to call any phone number in the world. Calls and messages within the network are connected for free and calls to other numbers are made possible at low cost via in-app purchase.
Mara Online will be the third member of Plingm Alliance, Plingm's global network of mobile VoIP operators based on the Plingm application. Plingm Alliance is open for a select number of companies with strong brands that are looking for profitable turnkey solution for mobile VoIP. Together, the three members of Plingm Alliance have more than 100 million mobile users worldwide.
"We are committed to making mobile communication free for consumers and profitable for our partners. We welcome Mara Online to Plingm Alliance, the new global network of mobile VoIP operators," says Pandelis Eliopoulos, co-founder of Plingm.
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About Mara Group and Mara Online
Mara Group is a pan-African multi-sector business conglomerate with extensive operating experience in domestic and international markets. Mara Group, which comprises numerous holding companies that operate in 26 countries, has a strong African presence in 19 countries. Mara OnlineTM is a compilation of seven online and mobile technological resources that allow users to communicate, interact and collaborate with each other via a plethora of social media portals in a virtual community. Mara OnlineTM is a convergence of web and mobile technology that creates a unique user-driven experience spanning from educational tools for entrepreneurs to highly interactive mobile apps that provide connectivity to people across the globe. Mara OnlineTM currently is focused on providing these services, tools and accessibility to Africa first and then will expand globally. Mara ConnectTM is one of the seven online and mobile technologies produced by Mara OnlineTM.