Nokia Calling Africa with Ovi Life Tools

Mobiles maker Nokia says Ovi Life Tools, its leading emerging market information service, is now available in Nigeria, which is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies and the continent’s largest mobile market.

The African launch follows hot on the heels of Nokia’s other launches over the last year in Indonesia, India and China.

The company says Ovi Life Tools has over 6.3 million users globally, and the introduction of this service in Africa further extends its reach in emerging markets.

Ovi Life Tools offers a wide range of information services covering healthcare, agriculture, education and entertainment which address the needs of consumers and helps improve their economic prosperity and quality of life, Nokia believes.

It is a key part of Nokia’s overall strategy to connect the next billion people by providing access to locally relevant services on affordable mobile devices.

Close on the heels of naming Stephen Elop as its future CEO, Nokia unveiled a strategy to connect the “next billion” people to the Internet.

The company wants to offer its low-cost mobile phones supported by Ovi services in the emerging markets. (Read: Nokia Plans to Connect Next Billion to Internet)

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Targeting the increasing number of mobile users, other players in the tech markets are also making big plans with their new offerings.

Leading tech company IBM has introduced new software that combines the business analytics and optimization capabilities for today’s evolving workforce.

For the first time, the company says, its new offerings combine social networking and collaboration capabilities for the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion by 2013. (Read: How IBM Plans to Help Mobile Workforce)

And Microsoft, with its eyes on the mass mobile markets, is emerging as a new force in the cutthroat mobiles arena.

With a host of fun features, including music and games, integrated into the new devices, Microsoft – with its partners – has introduced nine Windows Phone 7 handsets. (Read: New Windows Phone 7: Phone for Fun)

IBM is leaving no stone unturned to woo all types of potential mobile consumers. It has announced an Open Collaboration Research (OCR) project with the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay).

The research collaboration will focus on the development of new designs for mobile device interfaces that can be used by people who are semiliterate or illiterate, as well as individuals who have limited or no access to information technology. (Read: Research to Help Uneducated Use Mobile Web)

According to a recent IBM survey, information technology professionals predict that mobile (and cloud computing) will emerge as the most in-demand platforms for software application development and IT delivery over the next five years. (Read: Tech Predictions for 2015 with IBM Survey)

While launching Ovi Life Tools in Africa, Nokia’s head of Mobile Phone Services, Dieter May, said: “This is another important milestone for Nokia as we continue to expand our services in emerging markets. Farmers will be able to check market prices without travelling long distances, people will be able to find important information to stay healthy and students will be able to learn English and improve their general knowledge at their own pace. All of this on easy-to-use and affordable mobile phones.”

Now, people in Nigeria will have access to a range of services and information on their mobile phones through Nokia’s Ovi Life Tools. Services include:

  • Healthcare services: Mother and childcare, health & fitness and disease information.
  • Agriculture services: Market prices, news & advice and weather.
  • Education services: Learn English, acquire general knowledge and access exam results.
  • Entertainment services: Football results, music, news alerts, horoscopes and jokes.

Nokia’s Ovi Life Tools in Nigeria will be offered on the Nokia 2690 and on the Nokia C1-01 through two of Nigeria’s leading operators, Zain/Airtel and Glo Mobile, at the price of NGN 250 (EUR 1.25) for the agriculture service and NGN 200 (EUR 1) per month for all other subscriptions. More devices will be added in the future.

Nokia made this announcement Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Photo courtesy: Nokia

RMN News

Rakesh Raman