East Africa: Smile Communications pioneers Voice over LTE
Smile Communications Uganda has announced that it will be introducing two 4G LTE products to its Ugandan customers, which consist of SmileVoice and SmileUnlimited
Smile Uganda is the first operator in East Africa to offer its customers Voice over LTE services, which gives them access to the world’s fast growing standard for both voice and video calling.
SmileVoice comes in two forms; using a world-first downloadable free mobile App that provides customers with Android and Apple iPhone devices the ability to make voice calls over Smile’s 4G LTE network, or through the use of a VoLTE-capable handset plus a Smile SIM card.
Smile Uganda’s Chairperson Beatrice Kiraso, said: “Smile is the first mobile operator in East Africa to develop and introduce Voice over LTE, plus a world first to develop and introduce a free Voice over LTE mobile application that enables all our customers in Uganda, with Android and iPhone devices, to experience high-quality voice calls over Smile’s network. We are committed to improving the quality of voice and data services in Uganda, and with SmileVoice our customers can call anyone locally and internationally, just like on any other mobile.”
“With our recently announced funding Smile has expanded its existing 4G LTE network in Uganda from 3 to 15 towns, and now provides 30-days of unlimited access to SuperFast mobile broadband – there is no other provider that is offering its customers such value and convenience.”
Nybl: Saudi Startup to Expand AI Solutions
According to co-founder Nour Alnahhas, nybl was formed for the greater good. A visual data mining and machine learning platform, the platform will help organisations streamline their operations. ‘We wanted to centralise our vision around AI and machine learning’, said Alnahhas. ‘Something not just for profit, but added value. Conscious capitalism’.
Nybl aims to democratise artificial intelligence by making it possible for anyone to build an AI solution. What website builders like Wix and Squarespace did for site design, nybl will do for AI—allowing even non-coders to feel comfortable creating solutions. In fact, Alnahhas calls it a ‘Shopify of AI’, or a third-party platform that helps businesses deliver better service.
With hubs in Kuwait, the UAE, North America, and India, nybl is focused on launching operations in Saudi Arabia, Alnahhas’s home country. When the company first launched, it was difficult to convince Saudi Arabian businesses to work with a startup. Yet now, nybl has proven itself. ‘We had support in the UAE, so now we’re coming back’, said Alnahhas.
Alnahhas has launched a pilot with Saudi Aramco and has slowly built partnerships with paper, heating, HVAC air conditioning, and manufacturing companies. In addition, the Saudi government has started to invest in the Kingdom’s National Strategy for Data and AI, which means that nbyl, as a tech startup, has finally gained credibility.
No War for Talent
One of the most critical parts of nybl’s expansion will be hiring the right individuals. Thankfully, there’s a current surplus of talented researchers, developers, and data scientists within the Kingdom. Like nybl’s Alnahhas—educated at the University of Houston, the Wharton School of Business, and INSEAD— many Saudi Arabians have benefited from government-sponsored education abroad.
Last year, Saudi Arabia signed several partnerships with tech firms to advance the Kingdom’s skills in artificial intelligence. ‘It’s exciting to be in Saudi Arabia where there’s alignment and support’, Alnahhas concluded. ‘You’re getting an increasing talent pool. And even old and big family conglomerates are finally changing to use AI’.