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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Nokia, connecting Africans with dual SIM phones

Recently in the city of Nairobi, Kenya, leading world mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia assembled some African media practitioners to herald a continental launch of its colour screen dual Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) handsets. REMMY NWEKE reports that the event was another ploy by Nokia to hook up another set of billions mobile phone users across Middle East and Africa.
A fortnight ago, Nokia, the world’s leading mobile device manufacturer, assembled the crop of African media practitioners to the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi for the launch of its first-ever coloured screen dual Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) affordable handsets for the connecting the next billion in continent.
Welcoming guests to the event, the General Manager, East and Southern Africa at Nokia, Mr. Kenneth Oyolla said it was a privilege to host the continent launch of the Nokia’s latest in stock dual SIM phones, namely the Nokia 101 and Nokia 100.
He also projection that by 2015, an estimated 20 per cent of the world subscribers will come from the Middle East and Africa, stressing that was why this launch of dual SIM phones with different took place on the continent of Africa.
For the Executive Vice President, Mobile Phones at Nokia, Mrs. Mary McDowell said that the mobile phone company is determined to connect the next billion of people and also committed to bringing Internet access to these people as first time users, which would trigger a meaningful mobile experience.
Nokia, she said, delivers on its commitment, describing the two dual SIM phones on offer as inspirational product portfolio with local applications and content. These, she said, allows constituents participation in the digital explosion. Adding that in the last three months, Nokia has introduced several mobile devices for the low-end market with developing countries in mind, mostly with its dual SIM handsets.
According to her, Nokia, focuses a lot on easy dual SIM management, which enables end-users to set one of their SIMs for incoming calls and another for outgoing calls, in addition to providing a smarter feature with Nokia browser for series which uses cloud-based technology, local content and applications that are clearer, simple for browsing experience as well as supporting some languages.
Mrs. McDoWell said that these phones have maps, which offers local street maps at extremely affordable prices, adding that Nokia 101 is the fifth dual SIM phone that goes for about $35 for Nokia 101 while Nokia 100 goes for $30, about N4,500, whereas it comes on vibrant colors including legion blue, festival pink, ocean blue, phantom black and coral red, describing the Nokia 100 as the little brother of Nokia 101 with long time battery life.
She said, Nokia 101 would be available in the third quarter of 2011 for $35, about N5,460 and comes in phantom black and coral red. The Nokia 100, Mrs. McDoWell said, would be available in the fourth quarter of 2011 for about USD 30, about N4,500, while it comes on vibrant colors including legion blue, festival pink, ocean blue, phantom black and coral red in selected markets including Nigeria.
On counterfeit, she said, Nokia is working with governments across the world to steam the growth of fake products, even as they partner local mobile operators, mostly in the last six months in bringing quality Nokia products available to subscribers.
Commenting, the Vice President for Sales at Nokia Africa, Mr. Brad Bockhaug noted that an estimated 29 million people have experienced Nokia Life Tools across Asia, Middle East and Africa with large impact from Nigeria.
As said by him, the Nokia 101 is breaking new grounds by re-enforcing Nokia commitment and bringing high capability to the end users, highlighted the fact that in Nigeria, for instance, there is high retention rate, hence, it is necessary for people, especially the end-users of low income to have durable phones at their disposal.
He also said, Nokia is very confident in growing the market, especially on the continent and described the launch as the beginning of love affair in Africa.
For Mrs. Blanca Juti, vice president mobile phones product marketing, pointed out that Nokia dual SIM phones are most affordable phones to date and packed with features as well as sporting color displays in continuation with Nokia’s commitment to connecting the next billion consumers.
Explaining these products, Head, Nokia Mobile Phones Business Unit, Middle East & Africa (MEA), Mr. Calin Turcanu, Nokia 101 and Nokia 100, aside being most affordable colour screen dual Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) products have their uniqueness.
For example, he said, in Nokia 101, they took the experience of the dual SIM that already have in the market and brought same in most affordable package without compromising on the experience.
The dual SIM functionality, he said, enables users to connect to two different networks to receive calls and messages, citing an instance with the Nokia SIM manager, he said, it allows users to select which SIM card to use to make a call or send a text message, thus helping them to manage costs and maintain network coverage without needing several phones.
Further, he said, the SIM manager allows users to store the settings of up to five SIM cards on the phone, and to personalize them by assigning names and logos for each SIM setting, even as Nokia 101 comes with an FM radio, integrated Media Player version 3 (MP3) and a 103 phone loudspeaker. Additionally, he said, Nokia 101provides support for up to 16 Gigabyte (GB) microSD memory cards, thus allowing users to carry their entire music collection with them.
Nokia 100, the Sales lead for Africa said, it’s perfect for people looking for durability and simplicity as well as affordability when making calls and sending text messages, stressing that with affordable color display phone, people could enjoy new attractive grid-based menu system with fun and easy-to-read icons. Even as Nokia 100 features comprise an FM radio, enabling users to tune into their favorite music stations, whether on-the-go or at home.
Above all, the truth is that Nokia has come to stay and stamp its authority like in other series with low-end dual SIM phones; a sign an observer said signals a committed fight against counterfeit and reclaiming of position within the dual SIM range of mobile phones, especially in the developing economies.
Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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