By Tawanda Chihota
Nokia believes that with the right combination of mobile phones, network solutions services and a regulated environment, a mobile landscape can develop where operators can profitably offer mobile services to consumers for as little as US$5 per month.
The world’s leading handset manufacturer Nokia has outlined a strategy to further expand mobility to new growth markets through the introduction of two more entry-level devices - the Nokia 1110 and Nokia 1600. These handsets are targeted primarily at first time users and consumers in growth markets including the Middle East and Africa.
The Finnish handset vendor has also unveiled the Nokia Prepaid Tracker, what it claims to be the world's first completely network-based solution that enables prepaid users to monitor their account balance on the handset display after each call. The Nokia 1110 and Nokia 1600 join Nokia's range of entry-level phones that are aimed at reducing the total cost of mobile ownership for consumers. Both models are expected to be commercially available during 3Q05.
Nokia estimates a retail price before subsidies of Eur65 (US$ 79) for the 1110 model, which has a black-and-white screen. The Nokia 1600 is equipped with a colour screen and is forecast to retail at Eur85.
"The number of new mobile users in fast growing markets continues to rise dramatically and nowhere is the rate of growth more evident than in Africa. By the end of this year, Nokia anticipates Africa will be home to 100 million subscribers and expects the African subscriber base to double to 200 million by 2009," said Juha Pinomaa, vice president, mobile phones, Nokia.
Nokia believes that with the right combination of mobile phones, network solutions services and a regulated environment, a mobile landscape can develop where operators can profitably offer mobile services to consumers for as little as US$5 per month. Rival vendor Ericsson has forecast that 90% of all subscriber growth over the coming five years is set to occur in emerging markets.