By Tione Andsen – Mana.
Government has commended TNM PLC for making Information Communication Technology (ICT) accessible to Malawians.
Minister of information, Gospel Kazako made the recommendation Friday during the launch of low cost smart phones by TNM PLC in partnership with KaiOS at Sunbird Bird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe.
He said the deployment of data enabled low cost Smart phones would enable average Malawians to have equal access to thing thinks affecting their livelihoods.
“The quest by TNM to make mobile internet available at an affordable could have not come at any better time. Debate is rife on social and other media outlets on the merits and de-merits of cost of ICT and mobile internet for the end user,” Kazako explained.
The Minister added that people are turning to the internet for information on many aspects of their daily well being, be it business, social, commerce and health.
He said the first half of 2020; the internet has proved to be an invaluable source of information.
Kazako praised TNM PLC and its technology partner, KaiOS for launching an affordable Smartphone that comes with pre-loaded data and this is the first ingenuity of its kind in the 4G data and mobile internet era.
He said these innovations are progressively reshaping and redefining the country’s digital communication landscape.
The Minister viewed that the launch of the KaiOS Smartphone was one of the strides to give Malawians a world class digital communications experience.
“The Smartphone is moderately priced at K24, 999.00. This handset will give customers a starter-pack of 500 megabytes data and 150 free SMSs every month over a six month period. The phone is touted to have a battery shelf life of eight hours, which should keep users in constant touch considering that access to electricity remains a constraint in the country,” Kazako stated.
TNM PLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Michael Buitelaar said TNM has provided a low cost Smartphone with an aim to making internet accessibly a reality in the country.
He said the handset has all the features of a Smartphone and has apps one would want to use like google map, whatsapp, face book, YouTube and many more.
“We would like to improve digital communication but we are being held with high rate of taxes in the country. We are paying corporate, exercise and municipal taxes. I think we need to engage government to see how best we can overcome the tax burden,” Buitelaar pointed out.
He said the handset has being made in order to fit in the promotion and usage of 4G network in the country.