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Vodafone inks $1.5 billion deal with Microsoft to transform user experience in Africa and Europe

Vodafone and Microsoft join forces in a $1.5 billion deal to enhance user experience in Africa and Europe. The deal will also introduce a program to aid 100 million consumers and one million SMEs in Africa.

Vodafone inks $1.5 billion deal with Microsoft to transform user experience in Africa and Europe
Vodafone CEO, Margherita Della Valle and Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella

Vodafone, the British telecom giant operating in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, has entered a decade-long strategic partnership with Microsoft. The collaboration aims to introduce generative AI, digital services, and cloud solutions to over 300 million businesses and consumers across Africa and Europe.

Vodafone and Microsoft will jointly invest $1.5 billion in cloud and customer-focused AI services over the next decade, with Microsoft leveraging Vodafone's fixed and mobile connectivity.

"Today, Vodafone has made a bold commitment to the digital future of Europe and Africa. This unique strategic partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the digital transformation of our business customers, particularly small and medium-sized companies, and increase customer experience quality for consumers," says Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone Group chief executive.

The new digital services from the partnership will use advanced generative AI for a personalised customer experience. They prioritise unbiased and ethical privacy and security under Vodafone's responsible AI framework.

"This new generation of AI will unlock massive new opportunities for every organisation and every industry around the world," said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. "We are delighted that with Vodafone we will apply the latest cloud and AI technology to enhance the customer experience of hundreds of millions of people and businesses across Africa and Europe, build new products and services, and accelerate the company’s transition to the cloud."

Additionally, Microsoft plans to invest in Vodafone's managed IoT connectivity platform, slated to become a standalone business by April 2024, as outlined in a statement from the companies.

According to a statement seen by Bendada.com, the duo says it will collaborate on generative AI, scaling IoT, enterprise growth, cloud transformation and African digital acceleration.

Microsoft plans to expand M-Pesa, Africa's biggest fintech platform, by hosting it on Azure and introducing new cloud-based apps. They're also launching a program to benefit 100 million consumers and one million SMEs in Africa. The focus is on improving digital literacy, skills training, and providing digital services to underserved SMEs. The partnership aims to drive financial innovation and create a community of certified developers.

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