Mobile operator Airtel and handset vendor Samsung are working together on new m-commerce services as part of a wider partnership agreement for Africa announced between the two companies. The two companies will develop services for m-commerce, mhealth and other areas “that have significant social benefits for the communities that we live and work in across Africa,” according to Manoj Kohli, Airtel’s CEO (international) and joint managing director of Bharti Airtel.
In addition, the wider partnership enables Airtel to have exclusive distribution rights to certain Samsung products for six months after release. The two companies will also work together to develop market-specific devices. The range of products covered by the partnership include smartphones, featurephones, tablets, dongles and routers. Airtel also said it plans to roll out up to 2,200 retail stores across its African footprint in 2012. The operator currently offers services in 17 countries and plans to expand tis footprint in sub-Saharan Africa.