CellBazaar, an innovative market-access service from Grameenphone Ltd., has been voted “Asian Telecom Innovation of the Year” in the Telecom Asia Awards 2008.
The annual Telecom Asia Awards has been taking place since 1998. The Telecom Asia Award winners are chosen by an independent judging panel for their financial, market, technology and corporate governance performance, backed by research by global IT and telecom consultancy firm Ovum.
“This is yet recognition of the culture of innovation that exists within Grameenphone,” observes Anders Jensen, CEO of Grameenphone. “As a market leader, Grameenphone has always been committed to provide its customers with simple, smart and useful products and services.”
This is the first time Telecom Asia has introduced the “Innovation of the Year” award, and Grameenphone is proud to be the first receiver of this prestigious award. The Award-giving ceremony took place on April 8, 2008 in Phuket, Thailand.
Telecom Asia is Asia’s largest regional telecom publishing group. It publishes the magazines Telecom Asia and! Wir eless Asia and the Web site www.telecomasia.net, aimed at telecommunications professionals around the region.
“GrameenPhone’s achievements with CellBazaar show once more the remarkable potential of the mobile phone as a platform for innovation as well as its ability to narrow the digital divide,” said Joseph Waring, Telecom Asia Group Editor.
The CellBazaar concept was developed at the MIT Media Lab by Kamal Quadir and he later founded a company and established a partnership with Grameenphone. Using Grameenphone CellBazaar, buyers and sellers are able to trade basic goods (e.g. rice, fish, motorcycle, used goods) from their mobile phones, bringing the benefits of information exchange, community networking and one-to-many trading to a previously unwired rural population.
Grameenphone CellBazaar won the 3GSMA Global Mobile Award 2008, in the category of “Best Use of Mobile for Social & Economic Development” earlier in February this year in Barcelona, Spain. Last year, the Grameenphone HealthLine Service, a 24-hour medical call center manned by licensed physicians, won the 3GSMA Global Mobile Award 2007, in the same category.