Accelerating Affordable Smartphone Ownership in Emerging Markets – RFI

Thursday 21 Nov 2019 |

Accelerating Affordable Smartphone Ownership in Emerging Markets – RFI image

Context
Handset affordability remains a primary challenge to internet adoption and data consumption across emerging markets such as Africa and India. Introducing affordable smart phone & smart feature phones prompts the first step in the journey of internet adoption for non-data users. Once users become comfortable with consuming data on smart phone and smart feature phones, their needs often shift toward more data-intensive services.

The need arises for an affordable handset with smartphone capabilities, that enables these entry-level users to take the next step in the data usage journey. This affordable price point is estimated to be USD 20. An initiative of this nature would be essential in breaking down a barrier to global connectivity for the low-income user.

A working group consisting of key stakeholders from the following companies MTN, Reliance Jio, Orange, and the GSMA, decided to collaborate on the challenge at hand using their collective industry knowledge to pursue this project of goodwill and socioeconomic benefit. This RFI was drafted based on discussions amongst the working group, with the objective of determining whether an affordable smartphone with a specified technical base requirement is achievable within the desired price point.

GSMA Accelerating affordable smartphone ownership in emerging markets report webinar
This is a research study into the smartphone ecosystem landscape and business models that drive affordable smartphone access. It is directed at actors interested in enhancing consumers’ smartphone ownership in emerging markets. Offering new ideas and recommendations, it aims to inspire ecosystem players to explore new routes and opportunities. The study can be downloaded here.

Overview of the RFI process
This RFI is issued as a joint effort by the participating parties in the working group, which has joined forces to address the need for an affordable smartphone and collect information from responding parties to decide on the way forward.

This RFI is being administered by the representatives, working on behalf of the working group of companies and does not represent his/her respective organisation alone.

The participants in the RFI process are participating on their own will and fully understand that participation or invitation to participate does not constitute any guarantee of business.

This RFI is open to all those who wish to submit a proposal as the affordable smartphone is an initiative of public interest/goodwill to break down the barriers to entry for users (high cost of smartphones) – this is with respect to both hardware and software.

This RFI is conducted in compliance with GSMA Antitrust policy. All responses will be collected by GSMA and sensitive information will only be disclosed in an aggregate and, where necessary, anonymized mode.

This RFI will be published by the GSMA and Radisys (a neutral software integrator within the Reliance Group), in association with the working group. Responses will be evaluated by the working group collectively.

Application Process

Once completed, please return the duly completed by submission through rfi@gsma.com

Important dates

Webinar – Accelerating affordable SP ownership & low cost device was held on 27 November 2019

The webinar was directed at those interested in enhancing consumers’ smartphone ownership in emerging markets. Offering new ideas and recommendations, it aimed to inspire ecosystem players to explore new routes and opportunities. In this webinar  the topic of accelerating affordable smartphone ownership in emerging markets was discussed. The moderator also shared the findings of a research study that explores the smartphone ecosystem landscape and business models that drive affordable smartphone access.

On successful launch of the initiative in market, the GSMA will create awareness of the initiative – this is in keeping with the underlying public interest and goodwill objectives of the initiative. The GSMA marketing and publicity will not include any specific details of the RFI response.

 

The deadlines for submission of duly completed RFIs is 31st December 2019.