At the Mobile World Congress, Orange has partnered with KaiOS Technologies and UNISOC to launch a phone with voice recognition at $20 (R277.40). Photo: Orange

DURBAN - At the Mobile World Congress, Orange has partnered with KaiOS Technologies and UNISOC to launch a phone with voice recognition at $20 (R277.40). 

The phone will be available in 16 countries in Africa and the Middle-East. Some of these countries include Botswana, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt,Guinea Conakry, Jordan, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.

An affordable 3G smart feature phone  

From April 2019, Orange customers in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire will have access to a new category of smart feature phones powered by KaiOS, the operating system from KaiOS Technologies. The other countries will follow in the year.

Sanza will be commercialised with a dedicated offer (voice/text/data) starting around $20 (depending of the country), that will help customers to optimise their budget.

Sanza has the simplicity of a feature phone powered by the UNISOC SC7731EF chipset platform with a long-lasting battery life up to 5 days, 3G+, Torch, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, combined with advanced smartphone-like functionalities.

Advanced functionalities for Africans 

Thanks to the Google Assistant, Sanza will help overcome language and literacy challenges, as our customers can access information and applications on the device easily, just with their voice, and without having to type. 

The Google Assistant understands multiple French and English accents, with more languages to come later this year. The phone menu is available in Arabic, Swahili, Portuguese, English and French.

This new phone will also give access to social media apps like Facebook and other apps like YouTube, Google Search and Google Maps, as well as Orange Money and My Orange.

Alioune Ndiaye, Chief Executive of Orange Middle East and Africa, said "Sanza is a concrete proof of the capacity of Orange to be a key player of digital inclusion in Africa and the Middle-East. With its access to internet with the voice and its attractive price around US $20, I have the conviction that this 3G phone and soon 4G, is a powerful lever to develop the access to internet for all in Africa". 

"Our mission is to help close the digital divide by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. The Sanza by Orange marks an important milestone in fulfilling this mission, as its bound to be successful in Africa with its attractive price point, great features, and the strong presence of Orange in the region," said Sebastien Codeville, the Chief Executiv of KaiOS Technologies.