Nokia Life Tools for the Indian Rural Market

Several mobile phones

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Nokia has announced Life tools, a range of Agriculture information and Education services targeted to rural consumers.

The life tools service has been designed for the emerging markets and will be launched in the first half of 2009.

The service will be delivered via SMS and hence will even run on ULCH phones.

Life Tools is aimed at helping farmers to get local information on seeds, crops, markets and weather. He expects full commercial service across India in the first half of 2009, with expansions to countries in Asia and Africa later. There will also be a service that sends subscribers an English word each day, explaining how it’s pronounced and what it means in the user’s native language. Each of these packages could cost between Rs 25 and Rs 50 a month. – source

Nokia has partnered with RML (Reuters Market Light) for the content (weather, prices and availability of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and prevailing market prices for the produce etc) and the service will be available on Idea Cellular’s selected network.

To add context, 30% of new mobile subscribers hail from rural India (TRAI’s qtrly report) and that shows the increase in BoP market for telcos.

Recently, BSNL too announced ‘Mandi on Mobile’ initiative (along with OnMobile).

What’s your take on the rural mobile market? Are we solving the real pain?

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