Beeptool Communications and Integrated Services Limited, an indigenous firm, has developed and unveiled a smartphone called Oyi-1 targeted at low-income earners.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Oyi-1 smartphone in Abuja, the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the firm, John Enoh said the project was part of Beeptool’s commitment to providing communication and digital access to everyone, everywhere and every time.
He explained that the affordable smartphone concept was one where manufacturing and ancillary costs were covered by investors and stakeholders and handed to users who live on less than $2 a day.
He said the phone will be preloaded with advertising services platform capable of generating revenue for investors and stakeholders to cover the cost of the smartphone and further revenue for investors and stakeholders.
Enoh said that the implementation of the first level in the affordable smartphone project was broken into three stages.
According to him, stage one had to do with technical development which includes design, testing and prototype manufacture of a basic affordable smartphone, adding that the second stage was to raise public awareness and funds to manufacture the first batch of 3,000 units.
The Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer, Beeptool, Michael Ige, said the innovation would solve the problem of high cost of acquiring a smartphone for low-income earners, adding that Beeptool fintech app, embedded in the smartphone, would provide access to the digital and financial economy for the unbanked and underserved in Nigeria.
On rural connectivity, Ige said, “The nanosatellite network integration to Beeptool fintech app and other apps or devices solves the challenges of network infrastructural deficit in the remote and rural part of Nigeria. This also eliminates the risk in the use of USSD and SMS.
“People in rural areas, who are majorly farmers, are unconnected to the digital economy and thus unable to access critical communications and digital financial services, as well as health, education and government services that would enable them to improve their lives and escape poverty.”
He added, “In addition, businesses and governments have no platform to efficiently and effectively engage this unconnected population, known as the base of pyramid population.”
Ige urged stakeholders to fund the Oyi-1 affordable smartphone project and noted that with such partnerships, the firm would be able to narrow the access gap and improve the welfare of citizens in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
He noted that as soon as the concept was announced, Beeptool opened up sponsorship opportunity, which was still open, to potential investors and promised that the firm would recoup the investments through services revenue within 12 to 18 months.
He further explained that the funds from sponsors would be used to cover the true cost of the smartphone.
This, he said, would enhance sustainable and profitable poverty alleviation by connecting underprivileged Nigerians to the digital economy.