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Thu 6 Sep 2007 06:29 PM

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Nokia CEO expects MEA boom in handset shipments

Region likely to show highest rate of growth in industry in next three to four years.

Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo has made his first trip to the MEA to formally open the company's Dubai office, where he stated that mobile device volumes in the region would more than double by 2010.

Nokia published figures predicting the region's industry device volumes to more than double in the next three years from the estimated 100 million devices sold in 2006.

"We estimate that the MEA region may have the highest growth rate in industry device volumes over the next three to four years," said Kallasvuo.

"We have forecasted a global market of four billion subscriptions in 2010, up from the current level of just over three billion," he added.

Nokia also expects the MEA region to account for almost 25% of that rise based on the ongoing economic expansion in the region.

"The MEA region is a critical market for Nokia, and we expect strong economic growth to continue," said Kallasvuo. "We plan to strengthen our operations by reaching further into rural communities to bring mobile communications to more people."

Nokia's mobile device volume in the region increased nearly 37%year-over-year in 2Q07. Timo Toikkanen, senior VP of customer and market operations for Nokia MEA, said Nokia's success in the region has been due in part to "knowing our customers and providing solutions that specifically suit their needs".

The company also used the visit of Kallasvuo to highlight the launch of new regional applications to coincide with Ramadan.

The selection of applications available in the Nokia devices are: Azkar, Ramadaniat, Ramadan Greetings, Hajj and Umrah, Islamic Organizer, Universal Dictionary and Ramadan Themes. In addition to that, the N73 Special Edition includes three E-books, Names of Allah and additional Ramadan content.

Among the devices preloaded with a selection of the new applications to be launched later this month are: Nokia N73 Special Edition, Nokia N95, 6300, 6120 Classic and 3110 Classic.

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