"Interesting stuff of the Technology, Products and Web 2.0..."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Google Launches Its SMS Service In Africa

Africa has the world’s highest mobile growth rate and mobile phone penetration is six times Internet penetration in Africa. One-third of the population owns a mobile phone and many more have access to one. In such continent, SMS are important to transfer information. Most mobile devices in Africa only have voice and SMS capabilities. In order to make the usage of SMS more effective, Google announced Google SMS in Africa.

Google SMS is a suite of mobile applications which will allow people to access information, via SMS, on a diverse number of topics including health and agriculture tips, news, local weather, sports, and more. The suite also includes Google Trader, a SMS-based “marketplace” application that helps buyers and sellers find each other. People can find, "sell" or "buy" any type of product or service, from used cars and mobile phones to crops, livestock and jobs.

It also offers a useful service called Google SMS Tips, an SMS-based query-and-answer service that enables a mobile phone user to have a web search-like experience. You enter a free form text query, and Google's algorithms restructure the query to identify keywords, search a database to identify relevant answers, and return the most relevant answer.


Both Google SMS Tips and Google Trader represent the fruits of unique partnerships among Google, the Grameen Foundation, MTN Uganda and local organizations*.

*BROSDI, (Busoga Rural Open Source and Development Initiative), Straight Talk Foundation, Marie Stopes Uganda.

No comments: