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

Airtel claims 5G coverage in 500 cities

A battle for 5G supremacy in India ramped, with Bharti Airtel claiming coverage reached 500 cities after launching service in parts of an additional 41 urban areas across 16 states days after rival Reliance Jio stated its footprint covered 406 cities.

In a press release, Airtel said 5G service is available in every major city from Kashmir in the north to Kanyakumari in the far south.

CTO Randeep Sekhon noted it is adding 30 to 40 cities a day and expects to expand 5G coverage to all of urban India by September.

In early March, Airtel 5G subscribers topped 10 million nationwide, with the number in Mumbai surpassing 1 million. In the middle of the month it launched an unlimited data offer for prepaid customers on INR239 ($2.90) a month plans, ratcheting-up a price war to attract new users.

Jio hasn’t released 5G user figures. The Economic Times last week reported it deployed more than 50,000 base stations across India, while the Ministry of Communications had earlier stated the duo had more than 100,000 compatible sites combined.

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Boku annual profit halves on impairments but active users increase

Boku Inc on Tuesday reported a rise in annual revenue but suffered a fall in profit on an impairment charge.

Boku shares were up 6.0% to 132.00 pence each on Tuesday morning in London.

The San Francisco, California-based mobile payments provider said revenue was rose 2.7% to USD63.8 million in 2022 from USD62.1 million in 2021.

Pretax profit more than halved to USD4.1 million from USD9.9 million, however, as operating profit fell to USD4.5 million from USD10.6 million a year earlier. Boku said it incurred a fair value adjustment charge of USD3.5 million in relation to warrants over Boku shares that were granted to Inc back in September. It also impaired the carrying value of the Fortumo brand by USD1.3 million.

Chief Executive Officer Jon Prideaux said: “2022 has been a breakout year. Boku’s growth became primarily driven not by [direct carrier billing], but by mobile wallets and account-to-account/real time payments. By the end of the year, nearly 7% of our monthly active users and more than double that percentage of our revenue came from these newer payment methods.”

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Personalised messages can impact lifestyle; Know how you can do it through an app

In the age of digitization and information, digital communication plays important in deriving your daily habits and lifestyle. You must have seen – that once you search for something – the ads in your email, WhatsApp, and Telegram start displaying similar products.

Some apps, instantly, start communicating with you in your WhatsApp window soon after you leave a query, hence making a big difference to your choices and lifestyle.

In 2023, customers demand personalized and real-time updates from the organizations they engage with. From updates regarding banking transactions to delivery updates about online shopping, customers seek automated and personalized communication.

Equence’s programmable API allows enterprises to send automated WhatsApp messages as well. It lets businesses set specific triggers to be set off when customers perform specific tasks or send specific messages. Equence has been providing a WhatsApp API to businesses since before the platform amassed massive popularity worldwide. The API can also be used to send pre-recorded voice messages to customers to ensure seamless connectivity.

Amber Jain, the COO of Equence, considers seamless digital connectivity as the need of the hour. He says, “Equence allows businesses to build such strong relations with their customers, ensuring that they stay ahead of the curve.”

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World cybersecurity first for Evina as 1bn users on telecom mobile payments protected

Evina, a leading cybersecurity expert for fintech and mobile operators, announces that it now protects over 1 billion mobile users annually worldwide.

Users who purchase or subscribe to services via direct carrier billing or mobile money, and mobile subscribers more generally, are increasingly likely to be protected by Evina’s technology.

Founded to combat the increasing sophistication and professionalization of mobile payment fraud, Evina’s cutting-edge solutions are designed to fight hacking and social engineering techniques with extreme precision and rapidity.

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve done that has allowed us to reach this milestone and proud of the tangible impact we’ve had on a human and social level,” said David Lotfi, CEO of Evina. “This is just the first step, and we owe it first and foremost to our partners. The more partnerships we have, the better our fraud detection algorithms become. It’s a virtuous circle that benefits the entire ecosystem. When malware are detected in Europe, our customers in the Middle East are instantly protected.”

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Omnichannel Communications: Why Enterprise Must Give Customers Every Opportunity to Engage

Leading digital enabler Syniverse on how personalization is key in the hospitality and tourism sector

We all like what we like. We have our favorite brands, our favorite routines, our favorite ways of working. The great thing, of course, is that there is so much choice.

And, in business communications in particular, those choices have been widening.

“The only way travel and hospitality players can effectively compete in this market is to enhance the customer experience away from transactional to conversational and eventually to a personalized service,” says Augustine Ler, Vice President of Sales for the APAC region at leading global digital provider Syniverse, whose Concierge CPaaS solution enables just that.

“This can be done through an omnichannel, experiential marketing and customer service strategy – that means being present across digital and traditional channels, and ensuring a seamless and consistent flavor of customer experience across them all.

“CPaaS seamlessly bring all of an organization’s communications channels together onto a single, platform; making it easier to execute, manage, monitor and oversee an omnichannel strategy.

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Vonage launches Proactive Connect for business

Cloud communications provider Vonage has launched a new tool designed to empowers businesses to deliver customised, large scale, omnichannel campaigns and bulk messages, including two-way interactions with their customers – all from a single marketing, automation platform.

Vonage says the tool – Proactive Connect, provides a flexible and scalable way to initiate large-scale, external conversations across any channel via Vonage APIs – Voice, SMS, and Messaging including MMS, WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger.

Available as an API and as a dashboard UI, Vonage says Proactive Connect gives businesses across industries, such as retail, banking, and utilities, the ability to create these connections for mission-critical customer communications – and examples include alerts on service outages and notifications/confirmations for appointments to reduce customer inquiries and increase business growth by promoting new products and services.

“With the ability to configure every aspect of a customer campaign, Vonage Proactive Connect is changing the way businesses engage with customers,” said Colin Brown, VP Product, Vonage.

“By delivering the tools needed to personalise engagement at scale, Proactive Connect is helping Vonage customers exceed business results by making connections with their own customers that resonate and build brand loyalty.”

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