Synchronica Nets $500,000 African Handset Deal

Synchronica plc has secured an initial contract worth more than $500,000 (£323,000) with a device manufacturer targeting the African mass market. The manufacturer will bundle the white-labelled Synchronica Mobile Gateway with a number of MediaTek-based handsets, enabling consumers in Africa to experience a BlackBerry-like service on a range of low-cost devices. The deal comes just days after the announcement of a contract with an Indian handset manufacturer worth more than $1.25m.

Todays deal will provide Synchronica with a monthly per-user hosting fee in addition to licence fees and a 12-month support and maintenance contract. Mobile Gateway will enable the device manufacturer to provide users with mobile email, calendar and contacts synchronization, and instant messaging, as well as connectivity to social networking sites and RSS feeds.

Synchronica is already a significant player in the fast-growing market for mobile data services in the MEA region, with 31 of its more than 70 customer wins to date coming from the region. According to Informa Telecoms & Media’s Africas Mobile Telecoms Market report (April 2010), there is tremendous potential for subscriber growth in Africa given that there were just over 450m active subscriptions across the region at the end of 2009, a penetration rate below 45 per cent. Informa forecasts that mobile data revenues will rise from $4.45bn in 2009 to $10.64bn in 2014.

“This is the second contract in a matter of days from an emerging markets-based device manufacturer using the MediaTek platform,” notes Synchronica CEO, Carsten Brinkschulte. “Mobile Gateway appeals to device manufacturers because it supports any handset and can be bundled easily and cost-effectively to deliver an attractive range of phones aimed at the mass market.”