Etisalat, a leading telecommunications company with operations in 17 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has won three of the sector’s most prestigious international awards at Mobile World Congress, the global event held annually in Barcelona, Spain.
Etisalat received two GSMA Global Mobile Awards in the ‘Best Mobile Health Innovation’ and ‘mWomen Best Mobile Product’ categories for its mobile health innovation – Etisalat Mobile Baby that is helping to combat maternal mortality in developing countries.
Etisalat also won the ‘Best Mobile Money Innovation’ award for its Etisalat Commerce platform that is helping make financial services accessible to millions of people across the region.
Accepting the awards, Essa Al Haddad, chief commercial officer at the Etisalat Group, said: “Etisalat is committed to harnessing the power of mobile connectivity through innovation to develop products that change people’s lives for the better and help to accelerate social and economic development. In the case of Etisalat Mobile Baby it can also save lives.
“Our focus on mHealth and mCommerce solutions has had an immediate impact in emerging markets where access to healthcare and banking services are limited. These accolades are further endorsement of our focus on delivering innovative technologies that have a transformative effect on people, communities and economies.”
Etisalat’s Mobile Baby program delivers affordable primary healthcare solutions to even the most remote, rural regions of Africa. Mobile Baby is already delivering tangible results and is contributing to global efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goals which seek to reduce maternal mortality in childbirth and deliver universal access to reproductive health.
Developed in partnership with Qualcomm, D-Tree International and Great Connection, Etisalat Mobile Baby is a complete mHealth ecosystem that brings together medical healthcare professionals, NGOs, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and federal and state government to deliver affordable healthcare for all powered by mobile connectivity.
In Tanzania where Etisalat first launched the service, there has been a substantial drop in baseline maternal mortality rates and a 30 percent increase in the in-medical facility delivery rate. During 2012 the Etisalat Mobile Baby service will be rolled out across its operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Niger, Central African Republic and Gabon.
The Etisalat Commerce initiative won the ‘Best Mobile Money Innovation’ for the transformational way in which it uses new electronic commerce technologies to empower businesses and individuals in emerging markets. One example of this is Etisalat’s Near Field Communication (NFC) solution which allows payments to be made using specially enabled-mobile devices. The Etisalat Commerce platform was developed in partnership with MasterCard Worldwide and Oberthur Technologies.
Working with federal financial services authorities to meet local market regulatory requirements, the Etisalat Commerce platform can facilitate a wide range of financial transactions including salary payments, person to person domestic and international fund transfers, utility and merchant payments, on-line purchases, and bank transactions. Importantly, it provides a fast, safe and secure environment for the un-banked and under-banked communities.
Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer, GSMA said: “The 2012 Global Mobile Awards continue to showcase the greatest, most creative and innovative products and services driving the mobile ecosystem today and into the future.
“With a record number of high calibre entries this year, it is a significant achievement for a company to be honoured with an award, but to win three is an outstanding achievement. The GSMA congratulates Etisalat and commends all those taking part for raising the benchmark of contributions to mobile communications across the entire industry.”