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Nokia launches Ovi Life Tools in Nigeria as it seeks to turn market share into strategic high ground

Nokia this week launched its emerging market information service, Ovi Life Tools in the biggest Sub-Saharan mobile market, Nigeria. The question is whether Nokia can turn its undoubted lead in handset share across the continent into something more like OS and services and apps domination. There ominous sound of Blackberry and iPhone users coming up on the inside track must worry them and that’s all before the popular Android phones begin to take off.

Ovi Life Tools offers a wide range of information services covering healthcare, agriculture, education and entertainment which address the needs of consumers and helps improve their economic prosperity and quality of life. It is a key part of Nokia's overall strategy to connect the next billion people by providing access to locally relevant services on affordable mobile devices. The challenge will be whether Nigerians are willing to pay the US$1.31 a month to access the service.

Nokia's head of Mobile Phone Services, Dieter May, said: "This is another important milestone for Nokia as we continue to expand our services in emerging markets. Farmers will be able to check market prices without travelling long distances, people will be able to find important information to stay healthy and students will be able to learn English and improve their general knowledge at their own pace. All of this on easy-to-use and affordable mobile phones."

From last week, people in Nigeria will have access to a wide range of services and information on their mobile phones through Nokia's Ovi Life Tools. Services available include:

- Healthcare services: Mother and childcare, health and fitness and disease information.
- Agriculture services: Market prices, news & advice and weather.
- Education services: Learn English, acquire general knowledge and access exam results.
- Entertainment services: Football results, music, news alerts, horoscopes and jokes.

May continued: "We have made sure that the service is locally relevant. The agriculture service provides prices on 25 different commodities including cocoa, beniseed (sesame) and fish to name a few, and covers all 36 states in Nigeria. But people also want to have fun, so in football crazed Nigeria we have made sure that the news and entertainment service includes the latest results from the European leagues and from the national team. Affordability is also critical. With almost 30 percent of the population below the poverty line, every cent makes a huge difference to people's household budgets, so we have set out to build a service that is able to further improve their quality of life for just 1 Euro per month."

Nokia's Ovi Life Tools in Nigeria will be offered on the Nokia 2690 and on the Nokia C1-01 through two of Nigeria's largest operators, Zain/Airtel and Glo Mobile, at the affordable price of NGN 250 (US$1.64) for the agriculture service and NGN 200 (US$1.31) per month for all other subscriptions. More devices will be added in the future. Nokia Ovi Life Tools will be available countrywide in Nigeria in three languages - English, Hausa and Pidgin English.

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