Airtel, Nokia tie-up for value added services in Africa

Airtel, Nokia tie-up for value added services in Africa New Delhi: Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it has signed a pact with Nokia to provide Airtel subscribers in Africa access to value added services such as Nokia Life and Nokia Xpress Browser on their mobile phones.

Nokia Life services, where the information is customised and designed to meet customer needs in areas such as education, agriculture, healthcare, livelihood and even spirituality, are delivered as SMS messages to the consumers.

Since its launch in India, Nokia Life has expanded to several countries and has been experienced by more than 95 million people in 18 local languages.

"The potential for Nokia Life in Africa is enormous and, following on the success of Nigeria, Nokia and Airtel are pleased to now extend this to the East African market, starting with Kenya," Airtel said in a statement on Tuesday.

Airtel Africa Chief Marketing Officer Andre Beyers said: "This alliance...Contributes towards bridging the digital divide on the continent. Partnering with world class organisations on such a large scale will galvanise the sector in Africa and be a catalyst for growth."

Airtel has also announced the availability of integrated billing solutions for Nokia store in Nigeria and Kenya, wherein customers will be able to download paid content from Nokia’s mobile application store and pay for it as part of their monthly mobile phone bills or have the amount deducted from their pre-paid balance.

The third area of collaboration is the provision of Nokia Xpress Browser for Airtel customers in Nigeria and Kenya. In Xpress Browser, the cloud-acceleration technology compresses information by up to 90 percent to increase download speeds and render pages in a format specially designed for mobile phones.

Nokia Middle East Africa Head of Solution Sales Olivier Mas said: "Our focus is on bringing real consumer value through relevant content and services and by igniting the local ecosystem to do the same...We are pleased to be working closely with Airtel Africa to deliver on our consumer promise."

PTI