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I will call you from The Cloud

Most of the times we think how the community can help expectant moms; here is a way how the expectant moms can help the community: Imagine a mom-to-be in a remote village who owns a mobile phone. Most of her friends and members of the community cannot afford to buy a handset but they see the benefits of making calls, sending sms for connecting with family members in the city, employment opportunities and even marriage possibilities. If the expectant mom in the community offers the rest of the people in the community to use her handset against a small credit, this would be beneficial for everyone.

Photo of Krassimira Iordanova
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The company Movirtu designed a platform, which when installed in the core of a mobile network, enables people who cannot afford to buy a handset to have a fully functioning Cloud Phone which they access using any phone.

How does this work?
Once launched by the operator, people subscribe to the service by visiting their local village payphone agent or airtime voucher vendor to purchase a mobile number. Subscribers access their Cloud Phone using someone else's borrowed handset or a street side payphone. They simply enter a network code which then activates the communication with the platform and enables the CloudPhone service on the handset.
Not only does the system enable real time communication when the subscriber is logged in, but the also manages the subscriber's offline activity, tracking missed calls, sending notification alerts to friends or nearby village phone operators. Once the user is done, he/she logs off and hands the phone back to the owner.

As standard the phone owner who is sharing their handset always receives a credit as a thank you for sharing, either a one-off fixed amount or a percentage of the cost of the call or transaction as an incentive to share the handset.

Implication for the expectant moms scenario:

Expectant mothers are offered mobile phones at a subsidized price. When the moms-to-be share their phones with the community, they receive extra credit. Thus the expectant mom can collect small amounts of money that could be of help when she needs transportation, some medication, etc. There could be a possibility to have a sponsored mobile number- i.e. Hindustan Unilever in India/Wallmart in Zambia sponsors sms and phone calls and in return they get access to the purchasing patterns of many women.

Additionally, Movirtu offers an opportunity for delivering information via voice clips. I can imagine also a possibility to access simplified library with audio and video guides on maternal health from the cloud (push from the cloud to the user).

The platform also offers the possibility to white-list a number of health centers/hospitals, which gives the expectant mom a possibility to call for free in emergency.
Company profile:

What is the minimum level of mobile technology needed for this concept?

The system requires no special handsets, SIM cards, or additional client software; it works instantly on all basic mobile handsets available today in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Further, since all information is transmitted between the handset and the MXShare server using secure channels the user does not have any privacy issues of leaving information on a borrowed handset. (source:

Which partners could help realise and deliver this solution?

  • Oxfam
  • Nokia
  • Mobile operators
  • NGOs


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Photo of Sina Mossayeb

Really appreciate the visual story board. Great idea.

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