Nokia, World leading manufacturer of mobile phones, has thrown more light on why it chose Nigeria as the first country in Africa to benefit from its emerging market information service – Ovi Life Tools.
According to Nokia’s Director of Ovi Life Tools for Africa, Mr. Izuchukwu Maduneme, the country was selected as a key part of Nokia’s overall strategy to connect the next billion people by providing access to locally relevant services on affordable devices.
He said, “by investing in and developing this service, Nokia is acknowledging the potential of Nigeria and indeed Africa to achieve this goal”.
The service allows users of certain Nokia phones to have updated wide range of information on their mobile phones including Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Entertainment and Sports related services.
Mr. Maduneme disclosed that the service has been specially tailored for Nigeria by collaborating with local content providers, NGOs, Local Governments., and private enterprises across Agriculture, Education, & Healthcare, adding; through the Ovi Life Tools, Nokia is able to deliver a service which is hyper-local, bridging specific information gaps in the daily lives of millions of people in Nigeria.
With the launch of this service in Nigeria, farmers will be able to check market prices without travelling long distances, people will be able to receive important healthcare information without having to travel miles to see a doctor, while WAEC students will be able to check their examination results, says a press release explaining why Nigeria was chosen.
The release said all of these will be available on easy-to-use and affordable mobile phones. According to Nokia’s Director of Ovi Life Tools for Africa, “football enthusiasts and entertainment buffs are also not left out as they would be updated on latest developments in their favourite club sides including entertainment news.
Meanwhile, Nokia’s Ovi Life Tools in Nigeria will be offered on the Nokia 2690 and on the Nokia C1-01, and will soon be available on more devices. The service, however, is already available on Zain/Airtel, Glo Mobile, and Etisalat networks, at a monthly subscription of N200 and will soon be offered on the MTN network.
The press statement also divulged that starting this month of November, people in Nigeria will have access to a wide range of services and information on their mobile phones through Ovi Life Tools.
It says services available will include: Healthcare services covering Mother and Childcare, Health & Fitness and Disease Information; Agriculture services covering Commodity Market Prices, News & Advice and Weather; Education services covering Learn English, Exam Results; and Entertainment services covering Football, Music, News Alerts, Horoscope and Jokes.
“Today, Ovi Life Tools has over 6.3 million users in these markets, and the introduction of this service in Nigeria will further extend Nokia’s reach in emerging markets. This launch in Nigeria follows hot on the heels of highly successful launches over the last year in Indonesia, India and China,” the release stated.
The OLT service is a text based service with a very rich graphical and icon-rich interface, where the user has the choice of three languages to receive the content – English, Hausa, and Pidgin, which ensures that the majority of Nigerian users can benefit from this service.
Nokia says it is working closely with reputable content partners including the Nigerian Agri-Market Information Network (NAMIN) and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for Agricultural content and to administer the Agri-desk, Healthcare Strategic Consulting (HSC) for Healthcare content and to administer the Healthcare-desk, BBC for International News, Cellcast/OSMI for football and sports, MTech for Music, Horoscope and Entertainment Gist, and 3WC for Education.
Nokia is also working closely with MTech and with 3WC for the aggregation of the specialised Agriculture and Healthcare content respectively.
The Agriculture service covers 25 crops/commodities as of now and will progressively add more. As of now, market Prices are provided for 111 marketplaces in Nigeria, with 3 market places for each state in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Users can subscribe to the service by choosing three commodities and specifying their location.
The Healthcare service is also personalised, according to Nokia and provides information specific to the user’s age and geographic location or to the week of pregnancy for pregnant women. In Mother & Child service, the Pregnancy advice keeps the user informed on what to expect from pregnancy and parenthood along with the nutritional and developmental needs of oneself during the entire course of pregnancy, while the Child advice provides information on the nutritional, hygiene, immunisation, and developmental needs of the child linked to the important milestones related to child growth up to 5 years of age.
In the Health & Fitness service, the user will receive gender, region and age specific health tips on nutrition, hygiene, fitness and wellbeing to help the user stay fit on a daily basis, whereas in the Disease Information service, the user receives daily health tips based on important disease conditions prevalent in his specified geographical area. This information will help the user in prevention, prolonging onset and living better with the condition.
Health tips are related to medical, co-morbidities, lifestyle, fitness and safety based on the condition chosen by the user. Disease information are available for the following conditions; HIV/AIDS, Hypertension, and Diabetes.
In the Education Services, Learn English service allows users to learn conversational English with the help of their local language via daily messages. The service comes with a choice of three levels – Easy, Medium & Difficult allowing users the choice of learning levels. The service also allows choice of languages – Learn English with English, English with Hausa and English with Pidgin; the General Knowledge service allows users to keep themselves updated with general knowledge, important information and vital facts about their state, country and the world via daily messages.
This service focuses 60% on region or state level, 30% on national level and 10% international information; while the Exam Results service allows users to get their exam results for WAEC by providing their registration number. Exam results from other bodies such as NECO, JAMB, and the Universities end of semester exams for all universities will be added soon, says Nokia.
In the Entertainment Services, Football service allows the users to keep themselves updated on the latest happenings around their favourite football club and will have daily updates around news, match dates, transfers, gossip etc. around the club and the players.
There will also be live match updates on match days covering key items likes score updates and other developments on the field.
Meanwhile, Music service allows the user access to a variety of music services like MonoTones, TrueTones, PolyTones categorised into various genres including top ten lists. According to Nokia, other services include the News service, which allows the user to keep up-to-date with the latest International, National and Sports news, the Horoscope service which allows the user to access daily predictions based on Sun Signs of choice, the Jokes service that allows user access to a daily dose of humour in the form of jokes, and the Entertainment Gist service, which allows the user to keep up-to-date on the gossip around the entertainment industry and popular personalities.
By Edmund Smith-Asante