MTN partners with Unacast to use its Turbine Location Processing Engine for Social Distancing Data to Help Mitigate COVID-19 in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria and NEW YORK, Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — 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, today announced a partnership in which the two will use privacy-friendly, aggregated and anonymized, human mobility insights derived from MTN’s network data, to make available a version of Unacast’s recognized 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.

The Social Distancing Scoreboard shows human mobility data across the US. The partnership between MTN and Unacast will make the Social Distancing Scoreboard available for Nigeria to help public & private enterprise, public health, NGOs, and governments make data driven decisions during the pandemic.

“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 honored to work with MTN to make this available to the citizens of Nigeria.”

The measure comes at a time when Nigeria’s healthcare system 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 anonymized telecommunication data via MTN. Specifically designed for telecommunications companies, Turbine turns raw location data from mobile networks to privacy-safe, anonymized, and aggregated human mobility insights. The technology allows end users to distill 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.

The MTN Unacast Social Distancing Scoreboard for Nigeria is the latest in a range of COVID-19 toolkit options Unacast has developed to help public and private enterprise, public health, NGOs and governments inform decision-making during the pandemic.

About Unacast
Unacast is an award-winning human mobility data company that uses device location data, map data, and strategic intelligence to tackle business challenges for the retail, real estate, tourism, transportation, and marketing industries. With its flagship product “The Real World Graph®”, it provides innovative solutions and insights to operational challenges for companies of any size or shape. Unacast was founded in 2014 with offices in New York and Oslo, Norway. In 2019, Unacast was awarded the #1 small company to work in NYC for by Built In NYC and received Street Fights’ Most Innovative Use of Geospatial Technology award for its Turbine platform.

About MTN Nigeria
MTN Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest providers of communications services, connecting over 70 million people in communities across the country with each other and the world.  Guided by a vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world, MTN Nigeria’s leadership position in coverage, capacity and innovation has remained constant, since its launch in 2001. MTN Nigeria is part of the MTN Group – a leading emerging market operator, connecting more than 250 million subscribers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. To learn more about MTN Nigeria and its various initiatives, visit www.mtnonline.com

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