Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nokia to Launch "Life Tools" Service in India

Nokia has concluded the pilot phase of its "Life Tools" service in Maharashtra, India, and now plans to commercially launch the service in mid-year. Nokia Life Tools provide agricultural information and education services designed for rural populations.

Nokia Life Tools will be enabled in the Nokia 2320 and Nokia 2323, which will soon begin shipping, and on more devices to be announced later in the year.

"The creation of Nokia Life Tools is from the ground up: it is built by a team that immersed itself in the rural conditions and did extensive research to understand how people led their lives, the kinds of services they were currently receiving, and what they wanted to see as changes or improvements," said D Shivakumar, Vice President and General Manager, Nokia India. "The results from the pilot in Maharashtra are testimony that Nokia still plays a very relevant role in people's lives - connecting them in new and better ways through devices that they continue to love, and services that help them improve their lives."

Nokia said users of its Agriculture Service described that they were better informed about market rates for their produce. Farmers found that getting prices daily on their mobile phones reduced their dependency on agents for basic information. Now with greater awareness on market conditions, there was newfound confidence in their negotiations with the agents. There was also resounding appreciation for the time and money saved from not having to make multiple trips to the market place to get the latest rates.

The pilot program of Nokia Life Tools in India was launched in December 2008, with services in Agriculture, Learn English, General Knowledge and Astrology. During the pilot period, buyers of the Nokia 2600 classic or the Nokia 1680 classic - which came enabled with the service - had the option to purchase subscriptions to the Nokia Life Tools services that were most relevant to them. Results showed that a significant number of subscribers had signed up for approximately two of the services on average, reflecting that the services were relevant to a wide cross-section of the society.