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French mobile firm Crosscall scouts for security tender opportunity in Africa

Julien Fouriot, Director for Africa at Crosscall.
Julien Fouriot, Director for Africa at Crosscall.

French mobile device manufacturer Crosscall accompanied French president Emmanuel Macron on his first state visit to South Africa last week, which the company used as a chance to advertise its value proposition and identify new opportunities in the market.

Julien Fouriot, Director for Africa at Crosscall, said, “It was such an honour to be selected as part of the delegation visiting SA. Only eight companies were selected to join President Emmanuel Macron on his first visit to South Africa. This is an important development and it highlights the trust and growing collaboration between the French government and Crosscall.”

David Eberlé, Crosscall vice-president.
David Eberlé, Crosscall vice-president.

David Eberlé, Crosscall vice-president, added that the trip to South Africa was an opportunity to discuss business opportunities, establish long-term business relationships and share best practice learnings.

In addition to South Africa, the company is also pursuing partnerships in Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Tunisia. It is focused on the public sector, mining, retail, security and manufacturing, among other key sectors.

Security tender

Crosscall was recently awarded a tender to provide the French National Gendarmerie and the French National Police with over 200 000 mobile phone devices.

Crosscall’s devices will be delivered with a ‘Google Android Open Source Project’ operating system without any manufacturer or operator overlay which will allow the French authorities to install their own security layer so that their communications are encrypted and secured.

The company is hoping to secure something along the same lines in Africa.

Fouriot continued: “We are definitely using the case study as a success story and we hope to reproduce a similar contract in the public sector not only in South Africa, but across all the countries in Africa where Crosscall are currently operating.”

The company emphasises its product’s long battery life and waterproof / robust features and believe these differentiate the offering.

Fouriot said the company is already corroborating with a number of local industries in South Africa. “Not only have our products been developed to withstand harsh environments but we are committed to providing a premium after sales service to our customers.”

Climate change

Climate change was one of the items on the agenda during President Macron’s visit to South Africa.

According to Crosscall mobile devices – like all electronic devices – take an environmental toll.

It stated that the best way to mitigate this toll is to use them for as long as possible. “France is the first country globally that requires the manufacturers of certain electronic devices to let consumers know how repairable their products are and to give their products a score on a range of criteria,” the company added.

Although France’s ‘Repairability Index’ won’t be enforced immediately, some companies, including Crosscall, have begun releasing their scores. Crosscall currently ranks number one in the smartphone category in the Repairability Index. The index will ultimately be used to measures and enforce France’s anti-waste law with the intention of creating a circular economy.

In November 2020 the European Parliament voted in favour of developing laws that mandate European Union-wide repairability labelling. Repair advocates agree that France’s Repairability Index represents a good learning opportunity for other countries that can now build on what the French lawmakers have created.

As part of its sustainability drive, Crosscall introduced a three-year warranty on its mobile devices in 2020. The company has also removed plastics from all its packaging, instead packing its products in environmentally friendly, recycled materials. At the same time it has implemented sustainable supply chain practices.

Crosscall is looking to exploit opportunities within Africa’s competitive and growing mobile device market.

“Africa is a major focus area for Crosscall and we see significant opportunities for our mobile devices both in South Africa and Africa, particularly given the robust nature of our products,” said Fouriot.

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