Ovi Life Tools, an SMS based information service offered by Nokia in emerging markets, is now available to mobile subscribers in Nigeria. The Ovi Life Tools will initially be available pre-installed on the Nokia 2690 and the Nokia C1-01, but will soon be available in other compatible Nokia phones. Nigeria is the fourth country and the first in Africa to experience the Ovi Life Tools. The service will initially be available only to subscribers of Zain and Glo Mobile networks with other networks to follow soon.
Information for the masses
Nokia Ovi Life Tools is a subscription based service that provides timely and relevant information customized to the user’s location and personal preferences directly on their compatible mobile phones. Nokia Ovi Life Tools feature information in Agriculture, Healthcare, Education, and Entertainment. The beauty of the Ovi Life Tools is that it requires no data/internet access, making it accessible anywhere there are mobile services. Because Nokia Ovi Life Tools require no data connection, most cheap Nokia mobile phones can access the service. With as low as N4,000, one can buy a Nokia phone compatible with Ovi Life Tools, putting it within the reach of millions of new and existing mobile subscribers.
Nokia Ovi Life Tools uses the commonly available SMS messages to deliver the information. The information are organised in folders accessible via a user friendly interface. Nokia Ovi Life Tools will currently be available in English, Pidgin-English, and Hausa. Nokia Ovi Life Tools is a subscription based service. Users subscribe to the information service they are interested in. For now, the Agriculture service is priced at N250 per month, while other information services cost N200 monthly.
Features of Nokia Life Tools
According to Nokia, here are some of the features of the Ovi Life Tool features.
Healthcare service: The healthcare service include information and advice on mother & childcare, health, fitness and diseases. Users can tailor the service to their needs by entering their sex, age and other relevant details.
Agriculture Service: The agriculture service allows subscribers to specify the crops or commodities they’re interested in, their location and the preferred language for messages. It will provide useful information to farmers like local market prices of seeds, fertiliser, and pesticides. Farmers can also get information on when best to sell in order to earn more. Users of the Nokia Ovi Life Tools will also be able to access information on latest agric techniques and weather directly on their mobile phone.
Education Service: With the Ovi Life Tools Educational service users can learn and practice the English language as well as access general knowledge information on their Nokia mobile phone. Users can also access test and examination tips and guides. The Ovi Live Tools educational service will also deliver examination results of students directly on their mobile phone. So results from NECO, WAEC, and maybe JAMB will delivered to the candidate directly on their compatible Nokia phone.
Entertainment service: The entertainment services includes local and international football information (personalised around the subscriber’s favourite team), music, entertainment news and jokes. With this Ovi Life Tools service, users can personalise their mobile phones with great ringtones.
Our thoughts about Nokia Life Tools
Ovi Life Tools is obviously a great service. It is innovative and does not require sophisticated technology, meaning that hardware cost will be cheap. A basic phone with the SMS feature can access the Ovi Life Tools service and with as low as N4,000 one can get such a phone in Nigeria. This service will reduce the burden of accessing information especially for people who can not currently access such information on the web, either because they cannot access or afford an internet connection. Local Nigerian content is even scarce on the web so Ovi Life Tools with its promise of enriching our lives with local information is a welcome development and will be useful to all. It is also affordable as users do not pay on per SMS basis; rather the Ovi Life Tools service is bundled at around N200 or N250 monthly depending on the chosen service.
Nokia has always shown a great understanding of emerging markets like Nigeria and the Ovi Life Tools is a great example. Emerging markets need innovative services that make use of existing infrastructure, while they wait for the much talked about investments in new technologies. They also want them cheap and easy to use. The fact that Nokia Ovi Life Tools now boosts of over 6.3 million subscribers in about a year shows that the service is already making waves and now that it is in Nigeria it is only going to get better.
Here are some phones compatible with the Nokia Ovi Life Tools. Note that the initially be available pre-installed in the Nokia 2690 and the Nokia C1-01, but will soon be available in other compatible Nokia phones. Also only subscribers of the Zain and Glo mobile networks can access the Ovi Life Tools for now.