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Upstream’s Mobile Language Learning service announced as finalist for 2016 Global Mobile Awards

Upstream nominated to win the “Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets” award 


London, UK – January 27th 2016 – Upstream, the leading accelerator of mobile commerce in high growth markets worldwide, has been announced as a finalist for the 2016 Global Mobile Awards. Upstream’s Mobile Language Learning service has been nominated for the ‘Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets’ award within the ‘Social and Economic Development’ category. The winner will be announced at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest and leading mobile industry event, on Tuesday 23rd February 2016, in Barcelona.

Upstream’s digital mobile service has been shortlisted among offerings from major brands, government- backed initiatives and high tech solutions. The full list of nominees can be found at http://www.globalmobileawards.com/nominees2016/.

The Mobile Language Learning service from Upstream offers emerging market mobile users direct access to language courses, enabling them to develop their language skills in English and French, and thereby improve their employment opportunities and quality of life. The mobile service develops participants’ vocabulary, grammar, and basic conversational skills via carefully structured questions and exercises.

Upstream’s product sets itself apart from other language-learning services by being accessible to all mobile users, since it is compatible with all mobile handsets, in line with Upstream’s device agnostic approach. More than 10 million users have already subscribed to the service, across 15 different emerging markets, including 10 countries in Africa and 3 countries in South East Asia. Subscription rates are particularly strong in regions where proficiency in English is lowest, such as Egypt and Vietnam, with users typically benefitting from Upstream’s language service for an average duration of 14 months.

Marco Veremis, CEO of Upstream, commented:We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the 2016 Global Mobile Awards by GSMA. One of our key aims when developing this language service was to target the ‘underserved’ portion of emerging market populations; those who have a limited means to pay, and a traditionally reduced ability to access learning solutions due to limited available technological infrastructure.”

“We have created a solution with fun and functional content, and an innovative method of delivery. Our service is compatible with all handsets, and is paid for via direct carrier billing – allowing unbanked mobile participants to benefit. We are therefore able to support 100% of mobile users looking to improve their language skills, regardless of their mobile device or internet access,” added Guy Krief, Upstream’s Chief Marketing and  Innovation Officer 

Upstream’s Mobile Language Learning service is by far the most popular mobile education service in terms of scale deployed, with the total number of users being almost double that of the combined downloads of the top five language-learning Android apps in the afore-mentioned markets.

“Congratulations to all of the nominees for the 2016 Glomo Awards,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “With more than 930 entries this year – a new record – the competition is greater than ever, reflecting the tremendous diversity and pace of innovation across the mobile world. We are particularly excited to be celebrating the 21st year of the awards with a dynamic new format that will recognise and honour achievement throughout Mobile World Congress.”

The GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards offer organisations across the global mobile eco-system the opportunity to showcase the latest and best mobile products, apps, devices, services, and initiatives to the industry and the world. The Awards are open to all eligible mobile companies, and supporters of the mobile eco-system – GSMA Members, Associate Members and Non-members – as defined in the individual category eligibility descriptions. The Global Mobile Awards are judged by independent experts, analysts, journalists, academics and, in some cases, mobile operator representatives.



For more information please contact:

George Chamberlain
Diffusion PR
+44 207 291 0230





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