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MTN, Unacast in partnership to fight COVID-19 in Nigeria

To help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, Unacast, an award-winning location platform and analytics firm, and MTN Nigeria, the leading mobile telecommunications provider, have announced a partnership.

Under the partnership, the two will use privacy-friendly, aggregated and anonymised, human mobility insights derived from MTN’s network data, to make available a version of Unacast’s recognised and widely used COVID-19 Social Distancing Scoreboard for Nigerian citizens and officials.

Together, the companies will provide this easy-to-use dataset on a pro-bono basis to enable public officials, public health leaders and other organizations, and the public itself to understand and convey the importance of social distancing in fighting the spread of COVID-19.

“Social distancing has proven to be an effective tactic in helping fight the pandemic, and the Unacast’s Social Distancing Scoreboard has been embraced around the world by leaders, media and citizens alike as a way to convey its impact,” said Unacast CEO, Thomas Walle.

“The scoreboard is designed to provide actionable data that is easy for the public to grasp. We are honoured to work with MTN to make this available to the citizens of Nigeria.”

The measure comes at a time when Nigeria’s healthcare providers is strained with managing rising cases and protective equipment shortages. Human mobility insights from Unacast’s Social Distancing Scoreboard will enable African public officials and the population to make informed and proactive decisions when navigating COVID-19 across regions.

And, as the Nigerian economy continues to grow, Unacast’s human mobility platform will also allow African decision-makers to access data-driven insights for urban planning and development including real estate, retail, transportation, research, and more.

“To fight this pandemic, we must work as a community, with government, business, the healthcare providers and citizens joining forces to practice social distancing and other safety measures,” said Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN Nigeria, Tobechukwu Okigbo. “MTN is pleased to collaborate with Unacast by bringing this Social Distancing Scoreboard to the public as an important tool we can all use to flatten the curve.”

The Social Distancing Scoreboard will leverage Unacast’s Turbine platform for aggregated and anonymised telecommunication data via MTN. Specifically designed for telecommunications companies, Turbine turns raw location data from mobile networks to privacy-safe, anonymised, and aggregated human mobility insights. The technology allows end-users to distil vast datasets that accurately understand human mobility across a large area like Nigeria.

Unacast and MTN have developed the COVID-19 Social Distancing Scoreboard using anonymous aggregate mobility and device data from tens of millions of devices. Unacast’s proprietary technology then extrapolates the results to show trends by region. As with all Unacast technology, the Social Distancing Scoreboard follows local privacy guidelines, like the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation.



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