Vodafone Ghana’s webbox has been launched to bring affordable internet access through customers’ existing television set, by plugging in a keyboard.
The facility which is a plug and play keyboard, converts any standard domestic television into an internet portal, enabling users to browse the internet in the comfort of their homes, offices and schools.
The home screen allows consumers to navigate easily between the core services: Opera Mini 5.1 internet access; Short Message Sending (SMS) and email messaging; internet search and media services including FM radio, a photo and video gallery, as well as video and music players.
“The Webbox, developed for consumers in emerging markets to bridge the digital divide provides affordable, ready internet access at home or in the workplace including the rural communities.
The unique device is suitable for businesses as it aids in training, business presentations among other data services,” Carmen Bruce-Annan, Head of Corporate Communications, Vodafone Ghana explained at the official media launch in Accra. “The introduction of the Webbox is Vodafone’s response to the use of television as a medium to deliver internet services to Ghanaians including those in the rural communities who have access to TV but not computers and Lap Tops and who are within the Vodafone network coverage areas.
“Vodafone has therefore satisfied its customers needs by providing an innovative all-in one product with great value that also offers the family an exciting experience due to its use on a standard TV set ,” Bruce-Annan stated.
She said: “What we are offering our consumers is a very versatile and affordable product. It features an extensive archive of materials for the benefit of Ghanaians and, bringing the internet to the TV- be it at home for the family, in schools for education or in small businesses to assist local economic growth. This is a product that offers endless opportunities and delivers our brand promise of empowering our consumers to reach their full potential. ”
She added: “ Webbox was a product that offered endless opportunities and delivers the Vodafone brand promise of empowering consumers to reach their full potential. “By using the Webbox, students can access educational sites and use online learning tools. The unique device is however not limited to students only; teachers, businessmen, retirees, and individuals in rural areas who do not have access to the internet will also benefit. They can play music and watch movies, listen to the radio , play games, access social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, access emails and send SMS.”
Angela Hesse-Owusu,Head of Terminals,Vodafone explained that the Opera Mini browser which provides customer friendly runs over the 2.5G and EDGE mobile networks, compressing data by around 90% and so serving fast-loading internet pages.
“The browser homepage comes with bookmarks such as news, sport and social networking sites as well as locally relevant apps such as a job search and application service. In addition, the portal comes with some games, a dictionary and a basic text editor.
“It is an affordable alternative to accessing the internet with computers. It’s simple, easy and convenient to use as compared to visiting an internet cafe outside your home. It is also a stress-free option for your children in the sense that you can monitor what they do online as it functions via a TV,” Hesse-Owusu remarked.
Vodafone Webbox was first launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain and has since been launched in South Africa, but Ghana is the first country in West Africa to have the device.
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