MTN, Unacast team up on data to help combat COVID-19
MTN Nigeria has partnered with location platform and analytics firm Unacast to use privacy-friendly, aggregated and anonymised, human mobility insights derived from MTN's network data, to make available a version of Unacast's COVID-19 Social Distancing Scoreboard for Nigerian citizens and officials.
According to a release distributed to the media, the companies will make this dataset available on a pro-bono basis in support of efforts to combat the pandemic.
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 distill vast datasets that accurately understand human mobility across a large area like Nigeria.
The companies 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.
The measure comes at a time when Nigeria's healthcare system is strained with managing rising cases and protective equipment shortages.
The companies add that 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.
"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."
Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN Nigeria, Tobechukwu Okigbo, added: "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. 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."