US based World Panel, a solar manufacture and a home charging solutions firm will launch a suite of powerful handheld solar chargers at AfricaCom in Cape Town, South Africa, Nov. 12-14. with a promise for ground-breaking technology and an affordable cost structure that quickly turns to profitability for telecoms.
The World Panel 500 and 1000 portable phone chargers will be unveiled for the first time in Africa showcasing a solution for the revenue gap caused by charging difficulties, and provide branding opportunities for wireless carriers, their partners and OTTs, with colorful units that pack a lot of consumer appeal.
The chargers have a unique and patented ‘direct-from-the-sun’ technology that charges a phone as fast as a wall outlet and allows for a low price-point as well as remarkable durability. Utility-grade materials from the solar industry are used in the construction of the rugged devices so they can endure the harshest environmental conditions in the Sub-Saharan. Other accessories to e launched will include powerbanks, lights and charge-on-the-go backpacks. The chargers can power any USB device and can be linked together using our patent-pending PowerLink to double or triple the output.
“I arrived in the Sub-Saharan in 2011 with a solar prototype for boiling water and left with the clear message that people wanted a better way to keep their phones charged,” said World Panel CEO John Anderson. “After an intense R&D and testing period, I am returning to Africa to launch a line of patented chargers that meets the requirements of those I interviewed: it is as fast as a wall plug, it will last, and the price is right. Income generation is possible also for both entrepreneurs and the telecoms since 10 phones can be charged in a day.”
Recent independent tests performed on the chargers show that the most popular phones in Africa charge in an hour, which provides five to six hours of talk time. Blackberry smart phones charge in two to three hours and provide three to four hours of talk and data time. Test reports for charging Nokia phones, Samsung, iPhone, iPads, etc. will be available at the show and upon request. In-booth demonstrations with sun simulators, including charging while under water, are also available at P7.
Meetings with U.S. and European executives from World Panel are being scheduled now for Nov. 12-14 in Cape Town with operators who would like to discuss preferred pricing at the show. By eliminating the charging costs associated with phone ownership in many areas, and allowing for fast and easy charging for up to 10 phones per day via free sun energy, operators can review programs that recoup the cost of the chargers within a few months and generate ARPU for years to come. On-the-go charging can pave the way for more airtime purchases and smart phone use. World Panel will offer attractive co-branding and bundling opportunities to those interested in adding mobile electricity to their line of subscriber services. GSMA states that charging solutions represent a $3.37 billion USD opportunity for the operators, and the U.N.’s energy initiative has published that African telecoms suffer a 20% revenue loss due to unreliable phone charging.
Exclusive arrangements are in place for multi-colored solar cells to be used in the manufacturing process, allowing for various color combinations in the finished products and specific branding requests. World Panel Inc. is prepared to take orders at the show and products will be available in early 2014.