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Kirusa Hosts Lunch Panel on Driving Smartphone Adoption in Emerging Markets Featuring African Superstar Yvonne Nelson

BARCELONA, SPAIN -- (Marketwired) -- 02/27/14 -- Mobile World Congress -- Kirusa, the leader in voice and social media solutions for emerging markets, hosted a luncheon panel on "Driving Smartphone Adoption in Emerging Markets", featuring African superstar Yvonne Nelson at 12 noon in Glub Restaurant in Porta Fira Hotel on 25th February 2014. The luncheon focused on rich media messaging and data services for smartphones in emerging markets, and enabled networking with telecom professionals from across the globe. The panel featured African movie actress and model, Yvonne Nelson, and included the global telecom industry's top executives, journalists, and investors, including:

Sharad Arora, Chief Wireless Officer, Tata

Arvind Bali, CEO, Videocon

Alec Barton, Developing Telecoms, analyst

Saleem Mobhani, Special Advisor, Mobile Entertainment Forum

Charles Matondane, Head of VAS and Internet Services at Vodacom Tanzania

Dr. Mehmet Unsoy, Managing Partner, mSolve Partners

The next big step for emerging markets is data usage on smartphones. Smartphone use in emerging markets is on the rise; and major mobile manufacturers and distributors are starting to focus on designing devices that cater to the needs of developing regions. Thanks to a host of new entry-level models from leading brands like Samsung, Nokia, Huawei, and Tecno, the emerging markets of Asia and Africa are on the brink of a Smartphone revolution.

During the lunch, an insightful discussion ensued between the panelists about the future of mobile in Africa and India. Panelists agreed that there was great promise, but warned that the regions' literacy and tech adoption history could play a factor. Voice solutions, such as those offered by Kirusa, were seen as a way to overcome such challenges.

Kirusa bridges the connectivity gap with its cutting-edge mobile solutions such as Voice SMS, Vobolo, and Celeb Connect. Kirusa's recently launched InstaVoice Messenger app provides the growing African and Indian Smartphone segment with text and voice chatting, along with missed calls and visual voicemail, brought together in a compelling interactive user interface.

Inderpal Singh Mumick, CEO, Kirusa, added, "We were delighted to host a lunch for a global telecom industry audience, and I am thankful to our panelists and attendees for agreeing to be a part of the debate on growth of smartphones in the emerging markets of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. At Kirusa, we are working to further the smartphone adoption by offering innovative solutions that benefit the mobile smartphone user".

About the Panelists

Sharad Arora
Sharad Arora, Chief Officer, Wireless solutions mobility with Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) has had experience in several telecom disciplines. His career profile includes experience in sales as well as research and development (R&D) functions across various sectors. He has worked for five years in R&D and product development, and spent an equal amount of time in the technology sector. His previous work experience includes 10 years in management roles and global sales and marketing roles in mid-tier multinationals in the technology space.

Arvind Bali
Arvind Bali has had 30 years of experience in developing brands and is a visionary in the telecom field. Presently as Director and CEO of Videocon Telecommunications Limited along with CEO of Global CPT - Videocon Industries Limited, he was assigned the responsibility of executing Videocon's telecom business in India.. Arvind Bali is actively involved in Business Development, Project Management & Telecom Infrastructure Development in Videocon Telecommunications Ltd. Videocon's Telecom SBU.

Alec Barton
Alec Barton is the founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Developing Telecoms (www.developingtelecoms.com), the market leading web site and e-newsletter covering the growth of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in emerging markets, which he set up in 2005. In addition he is Chief Executive of Exhibit Choice, a communications company providing marketing, public relations, research, media and consultancy services in the telecoms and healthcare sectors, and owner of the Developing Telecoms portfolio.

Charles Matondane
Charles M Matondane is the Head of Internet and Value Added Services for Vodacom Tanzania Limited managing Messaging, Content & Application and Internet Business Strategy. He brings with him over 9 years' experience working in Technology Management, VAS and Product Development with significant experience in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Charles is significantly involved in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurial projects mainly in Tanzania through mentorship programs with COSTECH initiative; DTBi and TAZICT, and a Deputy Curator for the World Economic Forum's Tanzania HUB where he was part of the WEF Of Africa in 2012 & 2013; and VIP Speaker for Informa & Telecoms where he has represented operators in keynote discussions over the last 4 years. Charles was nominated as a Speaker for the United Nations ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand focusing on Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and also by the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization focusing on Africa's Digital Migration. He is very passionate about Capacity building in Tanzania in both general business Management and Innovation support.

Saleem Mobhani
Saleem Mobhani has been Strategic Advisor for Middle East & Indian Region at Mobile Entertainment Forum since August 2013. Mr. Mobhani served as Senior Vice President and Head of Mobility at Bharti Airtel Ltd., joined it on August 3, 2009. Mr. Mobhani served as the Chief Operating Officer at Hungama Mobile Limited. Mr. Mobhani co-founded IndiaFM.com. He is associated with bodies such as CII, FICCI-FRAMES, Film and TV Producers Guild of India etc.

Yvonne Nelson
Yvonne Nelson is one of the biggest African actresses on the wide screen. She started her career as a former Miss Ghana contestant and became famous for her role as Princess Tyra. In addition to being an award-winning actress, she manages many successful business concerns. Her emergence on Ghana's movie scene has immensely contributed to the new paradigm shift in the current African film industry.

Dr. Mehmet Unsoy
Dr. Mehmet Unsoy is responsible for advising all mSolve's clients on technology and industry related issues, mainly the positioning of such technologies in their respective eco-systems in the context of sale or fundraising transactions. Dr. Unsoy is a telecom technology leader, with 30+ years of data, IP networking and wireless communication experience. He started his career with Bell Canada in the late 1970′s, helping to build the first public packet switching network across Canada, called Datapac. Dr. Unsoy rose to become the CTO of BT and Telefonica across Europe before founding mSolve.

About Kirusa
Kirusa is the leader in voice and social media solutions for emerging markets that enable mobile subscribers to "Have A Voice!" and share their stories with their family and friends across the globe. Kirusa's solutions include the hugely successful Kirusa Voice SMS service, the world's most intelligent voice SMS solution, used monthly by over 80 million mobile users in four continents. Kirusa has integrated its Voice SMS platforms deployed at carriers around the world into an Exchange Service to provide interoperability, which when combined with its cloud-based Vobolo social media platform, culminates in the extraordinary InstaVoice app for voicing. Kirusa is pioneering a suite of Smartphone and social media applications that facilitate mobile subscribers in every corner of the world to connect with each other, as well as their favorite celebrities, and participate in TV polls and brand campaigns using the power of voice. Kirusa's platform provides open APIs to enable third parties to offer mobile applications. Kirusa solutions are built on its patented technology, and its highly reliable and scalable open multimodal platform, which processes over one billion events a month. Kirusa has been recognized as one of top 100 technology companies by Silicon India, and one of top 25 emerging technology companies by Smart Techie magazine. Headquartered in New Jersey and led by an experienced team of wireless telecom executives and technologists, Kirusa has offices in four continents. 'Kirusa Voice SMS', Vobolo, and InstaVoice are registered trademarks of Kirusa, Inc.

For more information about Kirusa visit: www.kirusa.com

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