Blue Cellular to give away data in drive to uplift the needy

2017-05-14 12:36 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Barry Taitz.

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Johannesburg - Local airtime and starter pack distributor Blue Cellular has a vision to offer people around the country - especially those in rural communities - free Wi-Fi and data. 

Barry Taitz, CEO of the company, was formerly a distributor of food items to impoverished communities and said his knowledge of people from poorer backgrounds made him recognise the need for his business. 

“CEOs sit in offices and never know how poor people actually live,” he told Fin24.

Blue Cellular deals with the distribution of starter packs and printed airtime receipts through mobile machines or through a mobile phone app. 

READ: Rand falls on poor Chinese trade data and euro optimism

Through the company, Taitz has a vision to provide those who purchase starter packs with promotional offers such as eCoupons and food specials - for example, if they buy a coke they'll get free data, or vice versa.

Blue Cellular also plans to set up mobile base stations in containers to supply free Wi-Fi to communities to make use of the offers. 

“There are people who are poor and are starving; often people don’t see what’s going on. One of my objectives is to feed people,” he said. 

“There are millions of people across the country who are starving. I would really like to leave a legacy behind; this isn’t about the money,” Taitz told Fin24. 

One of the company's goals is to empower people and hopefully create jobs, with informal vendors now able to sell entry-level smartphones from as little as R400 to customers.

“In a sense, this is being able to give someone a computer which can actually start a business through the internet for R400,” he said. 

In addition to this, Taitz said Blue Cellular is subsidising data for customers across its offerings of MTN, Vodacom and Cell C.

READ: Data prices: How SA compares to the rest of the world

Most recently, Blue Cellular forged a partnership with Amaqhawe Esizwe Projects, which draws in previously disadvantaged communities through profit sharing and indirect benefits for individuals like discounts on major retailers.

Customers who buy starter packs sold by Blue Cellular agents will have the knowledge that each and every cent spent on airtime or data will be contributing towards community upliftment and development. 

The public launch of the partnership will be taking place on May 23.

Taitz said that the company is looking to uplift people through different bands, starting with 2G and 3G and moving towards 4G with slightly higher priced devices in more urbanised areas. 

Blue Cellular has 5 million prepaid customers, with a strong prevalence in the rural communities.

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