What’s happening among the MEF membership? Here’s your weekly round up of all the latest announcements from MEF Members including product launches, partnerships, research insights and more…

Telenor unveils IoT automotive app

Drivers in Norway, Sweden and Denmark will test a new app from Telenor that lets them access a 4G Wifi hotspot, enjoy in-car entertainment and locate their car when it is parked.

Telenor Connect was unveiled at the first Nordic Car Connect Forum at StartupLab in Oslo. It was developed by Telenor and Swedspot, a spin-off from Saab Automobile.

“Telenor can play a central role in moving IoT for cars beyond navigation by enabling a digital platform for new services within the connected car ecosystem,” said Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group.

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Atlas Mara and Mastercard join up to tackle financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa

One of Africa’s biggest bank groups has teamed up with Mastercard to bring digital payment to 20 million customers and 100,000 merchants by 2020.

Atlas Mara says the deal with Mastercard will build stronger payment ecosystems, and expand access to fast and secure remittance, e-Commerce, and mobile payments.

Merchants and consumers will have access to the Mastercard suite of digital and traditional payment solutions, including NFC cards and digital wallets.

Daniel Monehin, Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard, said: “Sub-Saharan Africa requires innovative solutions and strong collaborations across sectors to help drive economic growth. Mobile based solutions are relevant to the needs of people, and will help to develop an Africa that is less dependent on cash.”

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BICS: data roaming is available in 143 countries

It’s easier than ever for travellers to access mobile data abroad, says a new report by BICS.

The study reveals data roaming is now available by 400 operators in 143 countries, up from 75 three years ago. It adds that many new regions of Africa, Asia and South America are offering access for the first time.

“The huge increase in availability of LTE roaming services comes as no surprise,” said Mikaël Schachne, VP Mobility Solutions, BICS. “The EU regulations coming into force this summer and growth areas emerging in Africa and Asia mean that LTE roaming is truly going global.”

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Bango updates Bango Boost analytics suite

AIM-listed Bango is offering deeper insights into customer behaviour with a new version of its Bango Boost product.

The company says its charge to bill activity gives it access to rich transactional data that operators and developers can use to improve customer services. And maybe sell more. It wrapped that up inside Bango Boost.

It says the new update will let stores and merchants distinguish customers by activity levels in order to reward loyalty and do more targeted marketing.

Andy Bovingdon, vice president of product marketing at Bango, said: “Developers and stores cab connect payment behaviour with marketing activity to grow transaction volumes. For marketers, getting customers to click the ‘Buy’ button is the most highly prized call-to-action”.

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Syntonic takes its sponsored content play to Mexico

100 million Mexican mobile users will get a chance to access content without paying for data access.

This is because Syntonic has just announced the roll out of its Freeway app in Mexico. Freeway provides a catalogue of content that’s sponsored by brands. It also offers data rewards.

It will be available in the Google Play Store by the end of February and will support use on Telcel and Movistar. In Mexico, nearly 84 percent of mobile users are on restrictive prepaid plans and one-fourth of them regularly exceed their mobile data allowances.

Among the publishers supporting Freeway are Konami, Reliance Games, Nazara and more.

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Boku appoints new chief financial officer

Gillian Davies is the new CFO of charge to bill specialist Boku.

She arrives from Banner Managed Communication, part of Adare Group, where she served as interim finance director. Previously, she spent 11 years as group finance director of London listed 4imprint Group.

Boku CEO Jon Prideaux said: “Gillian brings with her a wealth of experience as well as a fresh perspective that I am sure will serve Boku well as our global operations continue to expand.”

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