Cloud-based Platform biNu Levels Basic Mobile Consumers, Smartphone Users

Cloud-based Platform biNu Levels Basic Mobile Consumers, Smartphone Users

Mobile app company biNu is drawing a lot of attention these days in Africa with a program it claims can boost Internet speeds by as much as 10 times, giving even the most basic phones smartphone-like capabilities.

The app’s platform provides more than 100 channels including news, entertainment, weather, social networks and even free books, according to its website. Users also have the ability to interact with one another through news feeds, social profiles and messaging.

Gour Lentell, biNu CEO and co-founder, said the market is ripe for his company’s revolutionary app, citing the fact that lower end phones are far more prevalent than premium smartphones such as iPhone or Android.

“Certainly, some people in countries like Australia or the U.S. who walk around and see iPhones everywhere don’t understand the scale of the problem and the opportunity,” Lentell said. “Lower-end smartphones and feature phones still outsell them by about five to one.”

Considered to be one of the most innovative telecommunications companies in Nigeria, Etisalat Nigeria recently announced its partnership with biNu — bringing the popular mobile application to its 15 million feature phone and Android users. Wanting to somehow tie it into a numeric keypad, the company earned its name through a keep it short concept, Lentell said. Aside from 1-2-3-4, the next easiest number sequence to remember is 2-4-6-8. Associating those numbers to the letters in a keypad, b-i-n-u was settled upon. biNu is a common boy’s name in India, meaning “happy man.” It is also a given name in China and is a short form from which the Latin name Benjamin is derived, according to Lentell.

Recognizing the fact that relatively inexpensive devices can make the greatest market impact, biNu is working to improve the low-end mobile Internet experience by offering fast, low-cost and easy access to Internet-based apps and services, Lentell says. biNu customers have the capability of discovering, using, and even switching between cloud-based apps in a moment — changing to local languages and translating virtually anything without the need to download, install, or update separate apps.

Through its branded presence, the company is providing viable and affordable access to the Internet for billions of people that have not previously had the opportunity to do so.

“For many of our users, biNu is their first time online,” Lentell said. “They are accessing books, health information, news, weather — information and education that simply wasn’t available to them beforehand.”