Alcatel has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding with Manobi, an operator of mobile and Internet services dedicated to the rural sector of developing and emerging countries. Already a long-term partner with Manobi, the company will be involved in running several pilot projects that will not only improve the standard of living and infrastructure in these countries, but also strengthen Alcatel’s presence in Africa and the Middle East. For three years, Alcatel has been working with Manobi on a mobile service project in rural areas in Senegal and they are currently working to develop similar projects.

Thierry Albrand, vice president of Digital Bridge for Alcatel in France, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, commented, “Alcatel is committed to bridging the digital divide in underserved regions, allowing local populations to access value-added services, which are useful for the improvement of their economic and social conditions. In that respect, we are glad to reinforce our successful partnership with Manobi thanks to their expertise in developing customised applications for farmers. This agreement will pave the way for many other projects within Africa and the Middle East, given the increasing demand for mobile applications and services in these regions.”