OneLamp’s services are wholly based on SMS and USSD code (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) technologies, which means it can communicate by mobile phone with its customers who lack internet connections. OneLamp provides its customers with solar-powered home lighting systems and, in return, users make monthly payments for the amount of electricity they actually use. Customers can also determine how they want their system delivered: OneLamp makes use of diverse delivery channels and also cooperates with retail networks. OneLamp also runs a mobile-phone-based customer support service.
Around 625 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity. To light their homes they use either sooty kerosene lamps or, if they can afford it, diesel generators. Both these technologies are expensive and harmful to health, and kerosene lamps are a common cause of fires. And while numerous innovative products are now available to help plug this gap, many people still lack market access.