Mi-Fone Launches Synchronica-enabled Mass Market Messaging Devices for Africa

GSMA Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Hall 2, Stand 2A35, (PresseBox) - .
- Fast-growing African handset manufacturer launches Mi-Q200 range of devices powered by Synchronica Mobile Gateway and targeted towards tech-savvy Africans
- Stylish, MediaTek-based QWERTY handsets deliver an affordable BlackBerry-like experience and retail from sub USD 80
- Launch demonstrates Synchronica's successful strategy of targeting device manufacturers as well as mobile operators in emerging markets with its mobile messaging software
- Mobile Gateway provides messaging directly to the native Mi-Fone device clients
- Demonstration at Mobile World Congress, Hall 2, Stand 2A35

Fast-growing handset manufacturer Mi-Fone, www.mi-fone.mobi, has launched the Mi-Q200 family of devices which are bundled with Synchronica's Mobile Gateway next-generation mobile messaging technology.

Launched in 2008, Mi-Fone has signed several contracts to supply its handsets to large mobile operators in the Middle East and Africa. The brand is focused on developing aspirational, affordable handsets aimed at the tech-savvy African and Indian youth market.

Available immediately at a retail cost in the region of USD 80, the Mi-Q200 QWERTY handsets are powered by Synchronica's white-labelled Mobile Gateway infrastructure software. With push email, data synchronization, instant messaging and access to popular social networks, the Mi-Q200 family of devices provides a BlackBerry-like service at an affordable price.

With 34 mobile operator customers already licensing Mobile Gateway in the Middle East and Africa, Synchronica has become a significant player in this fast-growing region. Mi-Fone is Synchronica's first handset manufacturer customer to exclusively focus on the Middle East and Africa, and Synchronica will benefit from a monthly per-user hosting fee in addition to licence fees and a twelve-month support and maintenance contract.

"Cool phone without an expensive price tag"

Mi-Fone's Mi-Q200 family of devices is based on the popular MediaTek platform optimized for Mobile Gateway to provide messaging services directly to the native clients found on the device. This unique approach delivers the best possible user experience with minimal memory footprint, enabling smartphone-like features even on these affordable devices.

Alpesh Patel, Founder and CEO of Mi-Fone, comments: "Synchronica's Mobile Gateway mass market advanced messaging solution stands out from competitive solutions because we can brand it as our own and because it allows us to deliver a great, BlackBerry-like user experience on our latest Mi-Q handset models. We expect these Synchronica-enabled devices to be a hit with the young, urban Africans that want a cool phone without an expensive price tag."

Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica, says: "As a forward-thinking device manufacturer operating in a number of high-growth, yet highly competitive emerging markets, Mi-Fone has chosen to differentiate its offering with an addictive and compelling white-label mobile messaging solution from Synchronica. We are excited to work with Mi-Fone and are looking forward to introduce a winning combination of device and service delivering affordable aspiration to the fast-growing pan-African market."

According to the Informa report Africa's Mobile Telecoms Market (April 2010), there is tremendous potential for subscriber growth in Africa given that there were just over 450 million active subscriptions across the region at the end of 2009, a penetration rate below 45 percent. The significant market potential in Africa is illustrated by Informa's forecast that mobile data revenues will rise from USD 4.45 billion in 2009 to USD 10.64 billion in 2014.

About Mi-Fone

Mi-Fone is an innovative, affordable and stylish mobile devices company established to focus on the growing needs of the mass market sector within emerging and frontier markets. Mi-Fone has a core focus on sub-Saharan Africa, and since inception in April 2008 Mi-Fone is already shipping products to 15 African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Senegal DRC, South Africa, Mauritius, and Madagascar.

Mi-Fone is Africa's first African-owned mobile devices brand and aims to increase its footprint to over 25 African countries by the end of 2011. Mi-Fone serves a variety of GSM carriers, as well as direct retail partners. The complete offering is backed up by a strong support and service infrastructure in Johannesburgh, Mauritius, Accra, and Nairobi.

Mi-Fone aims to deliver rich user experiences with its low-cost range of native, Java, and 3G devices and applications. Mi-Fone is committed to ensuring all Africans have low-cost access to the internet via mobile technology. More information is available at www.mi-fone.mobi

Synchronica Software GmbH

Synchronica plc is a leading developer of next-generation mobile messaging solutions. Mobile Gateway, Synchronica's flagship product, provides push email, synchronization, instant messaging (IM), and social networking services to any mobile phone currently in use. Synchronica's patented transcoding engine uses advanced streaming to download email attachments and can dramatically reduce the consumption of network bandwidth by as much as 90 percent.

Mobile operators and device manufacturers from emerging and developed markets rely on Synchronica's white-labelled product for providing mass market messaging services across the entire customer base, diversifying revenues and reducing churn.

Headquartered in England, Synchronica also maintains a development center in Germany and the Philippines in addition to a regional presence in Canada, the USA, Hong Kong, Spain, and Dubai. Synchronica plc is a public company traded on the AIM list of the London Stock Exchange (SYNC) and the Venture Exchange of the Toronto Stock Exchange (SYN). For further information, please visit www.synchronica.com

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