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Get the latest announcements from MEF Members across the mobile ecosystem globally in this weekly review of member news…

Infobip develops chatbot for Uber via WhatsApp

Infobip has developed an AI-powered chatbot for Uber that enables customers to order rides via WhatsApp.

The chatbot has been built and deployed on the WhatsApp for Business platform using Infobip’s chatbot building platform called Answers. As a result, the WhatsApp to Ride (WA2R) experience is now available for Uber riders across Delhi- National Capital Region in India.

The news follows a pilot in Lucknow, India in December 2021 which saw Uber receive a significant proportion of ride requests from new users, demonstrating market interest.

“We’re delighted to have played a role in building this new WhatsApp chatbot solution for Uber and look forward to seeing its impact now and in the future as its rollout continues,” said Silvio Kutić, CEO of Infobip.

“We are even more thrilled as we are the global cloud communication platform provider to both the companies involved – Uber and WhatsApp.”

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IPification Launches Child Protection Solution for MNOs & MVNOs

The leading global provider of mobile IP address-based authentication, user verification, and fraud prevention solutions, IPification, has just launched its child protection solution for mobile (virtual) network operators.

The free age identification feature is meant to protect children online and enable compliance with local legislation requirements.

With the GDPR regulating child privacy and protection issues in Europe and the Children’s Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998 in the USA, PIPL in China, etc, companies globally have been challenged to comply with the regulations and protect children without losing any present or future business.

Breno Pilar, IPification VP Ibero-America – We believe that protecting children and the vulnerable should be one of the main priorities for companies operating in the digital space.

To reinforce this initiative, we’re offering our state-of-the-art age detection solution free of charge. Let’s protect them until they are mature enough to decide for themselves and let’s protect our businesses by future-proofing our revenue streams.

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iProov partners with Microblink to offer an identity verification solution

UK-based authentication technology iProov has started collaborating with Microblink to provide a biometric- and document-based identity verification solution.

Combining Microblink’s expertise in AI-powered identity document scanning with iProov’s biometric face verification, organisations can fully onboard new customers in an easy-to-use process without compromising fraud protection.

iProov’s patented face biometric verification and authentication technology is used by organisations globally to confirm that an online user is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating right now. Its Genuine Presence Assurance and Liveness Assurance technologies deliver an effortless user experience with high levels of security to help prevent fraud, identity theft, and other cybercrime during online onboarding, authentication, and identity recovery.

Commenting on the partnership, representatives from iProov’s said that as consumer demand for digital identity services grows exponentially, organisations must stay a step ahead of the evolving and sophisticated threats to online verification systems. Together, iProov and Microblink provide an integrated solution that protects organisations against online fraud, while safeguarding consumers’ digital identity.

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E-Networks Partners with Mavenir to Launch Guyana’s First 5G VoLTE Network

E-Networks has once again raised the bar for unsurpassed service, speed, and technology by building Guyana’s first 5G VoLTE cellular network, firmly establishing itself as the leader in Guyana’s telecommunications industry.

With an investment of US $35 million, the new network built by US-headquartered company, Mavenir, will deliver VoLTE, the latest innovation in mobile telecommunications. VoLTE allows users to make high-definition, secure voice calls.

Antonio Correa, Senior Regional VP at Mavenir – Mavenir’s microservices-based approach enables E-Networks to quickly and easily design, create, and deliver modern digital experiences at scale. No traditional voice or billing solution provides such comprehensive and ready-to-deploy services. Through this partnership with Mavenir, E-Networks has built an unrivalled network in Guyana.

Vishok Persaud, CEO of E-Networks – We set out to build a well-tested, modern network that takes cellular services in Guyana to a new level – and we are happy to have accomplished this. This network builds on our successes in the fixed wireless and fiber optic markets, such as our best-in-class services, which are currently the fastest internet services available in Guyana.

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Orange remains steady in tough environment

Orange CEO Christel Heydemann (pictured) claimed the company had shown resilience in the face of a inflation-dominated macroeconomic environment in the third quarter of 2022, as it returned to growth in Spain for the first time since 2019.

In an earnings statement, Heydemann said it results demonstrated “the complementary nature of its different markets”. Q3 group revenue was up a modest 1 per cent to €10.8 billion “largely thanks to the contribution of its European countries and Africa”.

In total, revenue in Europe rose 3.2 per cent to €2.8 billion driven by retail services, with solid momentum across of its countries in the region.

That also included Spain, a market where Orange has faced issues in recent times. Orange hailed a process of simplification and the stabilisation of its client base which “enabled us to reverse the negative trend of the last years” and return to growth for the first time since Q1 2019.

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Telenor looking to support Myanmar customers at risk

Norway’s Telenor (TEL.OL) said on Friday it is exploring ways to provide support to Myanmar telecom users facing digital security risks after its exit from the Southeast Asian nation this year.

Following a military coup in Myanmar in 2021, Telenor announced the sale of its business there to avoid European Union sanctions after pressure from the junta to activate intercept surveillance technology.

Telenor completed the exit despite criticism from employees and activists who said the handover could put the data of 18 million people within reach of the ruling military.

The company on Friday said it had agreed with 474 civil society groups, under an OECD complaint procedure, to jointly select an independent researcher to conduct a risk study and support actions recommended.

This will include an exploration “of providing support to Myanmar citizens who are facing risks and impacts associated with their digital footprint”, it said in a statement.

The goal is to reach full agreement by the end of 2022, said Telenor and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, which represents the civil society organisations.

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New Vonage Study Reveals That Consumers Want Digital Interactions With Brands to Feel More Like Personal Conversations

Vonage, a global leader in cloud communications helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation, has unveiled new research that shows businesses have technology gaps that prevent them from making meaningful connections with customers. After two years of nonstop digital transformation among businesses, only 45% of consumers are “very satisfied” with the way they connect with companies, revealing opportunities to enhance digital transformation efforts with omnichannel communications channels, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven capabilities, and more.

Vonage’s 11th Global Customer Engagement Report, based on a survey of nearly 5,000 consumers from 11 countries, explores preferences when it comes to using technology to connect with their favourite brands.

“The ubiquity of mobile phones delivers the kind of vehicle to businesses that allows them to speak to and engage with their customers directly — right from the palms of their hands. Yet, this research reveals that many businesses are still not using the communications channels made available by today’s technology to their full potential and are missing out on opportunities to make real connections with customers and drive customer engagement,” said Joy Corso, Chief Marketing Officer for Vonage. “This is where AI tools can help and surface as underused technology.”

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