Macra plans to bring cheap smartphones as Airtel launches e-Sim


The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) says it is in talks with local network providers to bring on the local market cheap and affordable smartphones.

This comes as Airtel Malawi on Wednesday night 5th April launched a simless technology, e-Sim where users with compatible smartphones will no longer be using the usual physical Subscriber Identity Module SIM cards.

Airtel Malawi Managing Director Charles Kamoto said the innovation which he described as a complete transformation of the past has more benefits including using up to eight numbers on a single mobile phone and also being environmental friendly.

“This is simply a digital sim, otherwise also called the embedded sim, you will no longer need a physical sim card. It brings in a lot of benefits; one can have multiple numbers, it is environmental friendly.

“I know we have few compatible smartphones, but we must start the journey now. As customers plan to replace their devices, they should first think of being part of the future by considering buying an e-sim compatible phone,” said Kamoto.

Speaking at the event Macra, Director General Daud Suleman who was the guest of honour described Airtel Malawi’s latest innovation as progressive.

Suleman said as the global progresses to greater heights in as far as Malawi is concerned Malawi should not be left behind and said the introduction of the e-Sim by Airtel is an indication of a great future.

While acknowledging few number of smartphones in the country, Suleman announced Macra’s plans to flood the local market with cheap and affordable smartphones.

“We are working towards increasing the number of smart devices in Malawi from 500 thousand to two million devices within two years and we are in talks with government and all mobile phone companies.

“The challenge is the cost for these devices. When they land in Malawi they are placed at a very high cost which Malawians cannot afford. So as we are planning to increase the number of smart devices, we are in talks with stakeholders to find ways that we can bring cheap smart devices in the country,” said Suleman.

Suleman has also encouraged other companies to emulate the example by Airtel Malawi.

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