Nokia today announced that it plans to launch Nokia Life Tools, a range of innovative Agriculture information and Education services targeted to non-urban consumers. Designed specifically for emerging markets, Nokia Life Tools helps overcome information constraints and provides services to this next generation of mobile users. Nokia plans to launch the service, beginning in the first half of 2009 with the Nokia 2323 classic and the Nokia 2330 classic as the lead devices in India and expand across select countries in Asia and Africa later in 2009.
“Filling in the information gaps in agriculture and education with Nokia Life Tools, we strive to contribute towards empowering people with the right tools to help them make informed decisions in their daily lives,” said Jawahar Kanjilal, Global Head of Emerging Market Services, Nokia. “Nokia Life Tools was developed to help bridge the digital divide in the emerging markets.”
“Nokia is a global innovator with a strong pulse of local markets. Agriculture employs more than 60 percent of all workforce in India. This sector of the economy needs fresh inputs via technology for the sector to get to a 3 percent growth,” said Shiv Shivakumar, Vice President, Nokia India. “Education and English language, on the other hand, are springboards for a number of small town and rural youth to move into the employment market. Nokia, through services in Agriculture and Education, will fulfil these opportunities for the Indian population.”
Nokia plans to conduct a limited scale pilot in India before the end of 2008. Reuters Market Light (RML) is the content service provider collaborating with Nokia for agriculture services in the pilot, where accurate and regular information on weather, prices and availability of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and prevailing market prices for the produce are sent to the farmer. The information is customized to the farmer’s location and selection of crops, and will be delivered directly to his Nokia mobile phone. By getting the latest information directly on their mobile phones, farmers can overcome uncertainty and get just the right information that they need to grow and sell their crops.
“Technology is changing the way farmers, their families and their surrounding communities are contributing to the economy, as well as benefiting from it. Reuters Market Light has already proven the value of customized and localized information to the farming community, with thousands of farmers having already made significant additional profits using RML,” said Amit Mehra, Managing Director, Reuters Market Light. “Through our collaboration with Nokia, we hope to reach even more farmers so that they can make informed decisions that have a direct and positive impact on their productivity and yield.”
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 - together with EnableM for the pilot - 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.
Astrology services and ringtone downloads, with content from OnMobile during the pilot phase, bring the fun element to Nokia Life Tools.
“Nokia Life Tools was developed in collaboration with the target users and the industry. The success of this initiative can be assured through regular consumer feedback to ensure that their needs are best met. More importantly, it will require a collaborative effort between Nokia, our operator partners, industry participants and information providers across the agriculture and education sectors as we connect the next billion mobile phone subscribers - many of whom will indeed hail from these developing regions,” added Mr Kanjilal.
Nokia Life Tools services use an icon-based, graphically rich user interface that comes complete with tables and which can even display information simultaneously in two languages. Behind this rich interface, SMS is used to deliver the critical information to ensure that this service works wherever a mobile phone works, without the hassles of additional settings or the need for GPRS coverage.
Idea Cellular Limited is the first GSM operator in India to collaborate on Nokia Life Tools. Pradeep Shrivastava, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular Ltd says: “We at Idea, Aditya Birla Group have made significant strides in rural markets and have taken initiatives around rural telephony. We are delighted to collaborate with Nokia in this new service and enrich the life of the Indian rural consumer through these service-enabled handsets.”
Nokia Life Tools will be available in local languages for the target audience. The pilot will be enabled on the Nokia 2600 classic and the Nokia 1680, and available in Marathi, Hindi and English.