Vodafone Launches WebBox for TVs in Emerging Markets
Vodafone has extends its product range to support its customers in regions where there is limited access to the internet, with the development of the Vodafone WebBox. Considered to be the first device of its kind; it was developed specially for customers in emerging markets to make internet access more affordable. With no set-up required, the plug and play keyboard converts any standard domestic television into an internet portal, so that its customers have to everyday internet services.
From the WebBox home screen customer can navigate easily between the core services: internet access; SMS and email messaging; internet search and media services including FM radio and a photo gallery tool, as well as a music player. All of this can be done using just the QWERTY keyboard on the WebBox. 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.
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.
Packed inside a sleek, black 14 x 25cm QWERTY keyboard, the WebBox browsing experience was developed on the Opera browser platform and runs over Vodafone’s 2.5G and EDGE mobile networks, which compresses data by around 90%, allowing for faster page load. The Webbox uses standard RCA connectors to plug into the television.
“The Webbox is a simple yet very innovative product. It has the potential to make a powerful difference in the lives of people in emerging markets who have limited access to the internet, but where TV penetration is typically very high. The simplicity of the product is striking – it brings the internet to the TV, be that at home for the family, in schools for education or in small businesses to assist local economic growth,” said Patrick Chomet, Vodafone’s Group Director of Terminals.
Vodafone will roll out the WebBox first in South Africa (this week) and the rest of the world later this year.