Mara Online, part of the African conglomerate Mara Group, and Plingm, the Swedish mobile VoIP application provider, form a strategic partnership to develop mobile communication in Africa. Together the partners will market a free mobile VoIP app called Mara Connect, allowing smartphone and tablet users across Africa to call and text for free, both domestically and internationally.
In spring this year, the mobile application Mara Connect will be available in App Stores and Google Play across Africa, both for iOS and Android. Calls and texting to all Mara Connect users will be free, regardless if it is domestic or international.
Already, 17% of the 644-million mobile subscriptions in Africa are smartphones, a number that is expected to grow rapidly over the next years given the increasing number of inexpensive smartphones becoming available on the market.
“This is an exciting mobile technological advancement designed specifically for Sub Saharan African countries. As the African mobile and Internet markets expand, we expect that Mara Connect will be the premier choice for connecting people across the continent while reducing consumers’ costs for mobile communication throughout Africa,” says Ashish J. Thakkar, founder of Mara Group.
The Mara Connect app will be based on Plingm’s existing freemium VoIP application. The Plingm application stands out amongst mobile VoIP applications because its calling and messaging features are integrated with social media giants Facebook and LinkedIn.
Additionally, with this VoIP application, the user is able to call any phone number in the world. Calls and messages within the network are connected for free and calls to other numbers are made possible at low cost via in-app purchase.
Mara Online will be the third member of Plingm Alliance, Plingm’s global network of mobile VoIP operators based on the Plingm application. Plingm Alliance is open for a select number of companies with strong brands that are looking for profitable turnkey solution for mobile VoIP. Together, the three members of Plingm Alliance have more than 100-million mobile users worldwide.
“We are committed to making mobile communication free for consumers and profitable for our partners. We welcome Mara Online to Plingm Alliance, the new global network of mobile VoIP operators,” says Pandelis Eliopoulos, co-founder of Plingm.