Nokia “Call” Rural Phone End-users

By next year, Filipino farmers may be referring to their mobile phones for the best agricultural prices and weather forecast, and learn English on the side.
    Finnish phone maker Nokia, on Tuesday, unveiled the Nokia Life Tools application, targeted to nonurban consumers. Life Tools will offer a range of agriculture information and education services designed specifically for emerging markets like the Philippines.
    Irwin Pang, head of emerging markets for Southeast Asia and Pacific at Nokia, said the emerging market potential is huge. Through this service, we want to link suppliers and end-users and bring information access to rural mobile phone users.”
    The service will be piloted in India before the year ends and then to other parts of Asia and Africa by early next year.
    Knowing that Internet coverage in rural parts remains a problem for most emerging markets, access to Life Tools will be the in the form of SMS [short message service] or texting.
     Nokia has yet to identify the mobile phone operator it will partner in the Philippines. It also said preliminary talks with the Department of Agriculture for this new service has yet to start.
     Nokia plans to launch the service with two new phone models— the Nokia 2323 classic and the Nokia 2330 classic—as the lead devices.
    Meanwhile, the education service of Nokia Life Tools aims to give students a decisive advantage by boosting their English language and local, national and international general knowledge. Language lessons, quizzes on English words and phrases, and the general knowledge information were designed to give students an edge. In future, the education service will also come with information on higher education and career guidance and tips, exam preparation, quizzes and access to exam results.
    During the launch, four other phone models were unveiled—the 7100 Supernova, 5130 XpressMusic, 1202 and the 1661—all geared for the low-end entry-level market with price points ranging from €25 to €75 (P1,500 to P4,575), excluding local taxes.

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