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Nokia and Safaricom launch messaging services for mobile users in Kenya.

Nokia and Safaricom yesterday announced a partnership to offer a new messaging service aimed helping users interact with each other through email, chat and messaging on the newly launched Nokia C3 handset as well as a range of other Nokia devices. Dubbed Nokia Messaging Service (NMS), the new messaging service offering brings mobile messaging and social networking into the hands of more people, at affordable prices.

All of the world’s major consumer and corporate email accounts are pushed straight to mobile devices, without prohibitive barriers and costs associated with mobile email. The most popular chat communities are also brought into one place for the consumer to hold conversations simply and easily. NMS allows deep integration with social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, allowing one to update, post, comment and upload from wherever one is and there is no need to jump in and out of separate applications.

The solution is an easy-to-set-up, easy-to-use push email service which allows user to mobilize up to ten personal email accounts on one device. Nokia Messaging supports all leading consumer email solutions such as Gmail, Windows Live, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail as well as local email service providers. It will be available to Safaricom subscribers.

“Our messaging device range is very successful,” said Kenneth Oyolla, Nokia, General Manager, East and Southern Africa. “Services that provide easy access to the world’s consumer and corporate email and instant messaging are really popular on our QWERTY smartphones such as the Nokia E71 and Nokia E63. People want the best messaging and social networking experience on an affordable device, whether it’s sending a simple text or instant message, an email, or a direct message from their Twitter account. The Nokia C3 and Nokia E5 are made for just that.”

The Nokia C3, which was launched today in the Kenyan market, is the first device to bring a full QWERTY keyboard to the world’s most popular mobile phone platform – Series 40 – and is the first in the range to enable access to social networks directly on the homescreen. People can view, comment, update their status and share pictures to their favorite social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

At an estimated price of 90 Euros before taxes, the Nokia C3 also comes with Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat, meaning first time users can set up email and chat accounts straight from the device, without the need for a PC. Other notable features are the Wi-Fi connectivity, a two megapixel camera, rich color 2.4 inch screen and support for up to an 8GB memory card. The Nokia C3 is expected start sales on Wednesday 29th September in a variety of appealing colors, including golden white, slate grey and hot pink.

Another latest addition to the Nokia ESeries range is the Nokia E5. Designed for those that want to be productive in both their professional and personal lives, the Symbian-based Nokia E5 follows the successful blueprint of devices such as the Nokia E72 and Nokia E63. The Nokia E5 combines high quality business features with all of the personal networking and entertainment capabilities that a busy professional expects from a smartphone.

The Nokia E5 is perfect for managing busy schedules with a variety of productivity applications available in the Ovi Store. And with direct access to over 90 percent of the world’s corporate email through Mail for Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes Traveler, it’s easy to keep in contact from anywhere.  The estimated price of the Nokia E5 is EUR 180 before taxes and is now available in retail outlets in the country.

“Offering easy set-up and access to several email accounts as well as Instant Messaging all on one device, NMS brings mobile messaging and social networking into the hands of more people, at affordable prices. Today, we are pleased to announce NMS together with Safaricom, who will be the first in the region to offer this innovative service to their customers,” said Oyolla.

The new offer will allow Safaricom’s pre-paid and post-paid users to enjoy easy access to social networks directly on the homescreen. Phone users will be able to view, comment, update their status and share pictures to their favorite social networks such as Facebook and Twitter on their Nokia devices.

Speaking during the launch, Safaricom Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Peter Arina said the devices launched would greatly improve the uptake of data-based communication in the Kenyan market. He lauded the affordability of the devices on offer.

“This launch is particularly important to Safaricom as it is fully aligned with our commitment to partner with quality handset and equipment makers in our quest to widen the reach and appeal of data-based communication in the Kenyan market. The high cost of internet-enabled devices has been a major entry barrier for users keen to enjoy a full data experience in this market. We note with satisfaction that NMS converges both mobile messaging and social networking and, most importantly, puts it in the hands of more people at an affordable price,” said Mr Arina.

Safaricom, he noted, had invested heavily to build a robust and versatile data infrastructure to ensure its customers get the best internet experience. “Cognizant of the fact that messaging devices are only as good as the network on which they are used, Safaricom has invested in the most versatile and expansive data infrastructure in Kenya today. This includes Kenya’s only 3G network, which now covers over three quarters of the country,” added Mr Arina.

This service allows users of Nokia devices to chat on the go with their favourite IM services including Ovi Chat, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. They can also easily update their status from mobile phones and connect with their friends on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. NMS is designed for and available on Nokia C6, Nokia C3 and Nokia E5 devices among others including the Nokia E72 and the Nokia E63.

Key features.

  • Chat with friends on the Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo!® Messenger, Google Talk and Ovi communities.
  • Easily change your custom status, avatar (picture) and switch between conversations and communities with just a few taps on touch-based devices.
  • Preview new messages in the Chat home screen widget. When signed in to multiple communities, the widget will cycle between them. You can also change your presence within the widget itself.
  • Create a free Ovi account right from the device.
  • Quickly navigate through multiple conversations across different communities and save conversations to remember your chat sessions.
  • Familiar and integrated community experience: Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google and Ovi-specific emoticons, graphics, and sounds.
  • See your friends’ avatars and set your own using the camera or an image from your gallery (for Windows Live Messenger , Gtalk  and Ovi communities).
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1 Comment

  1. September 29, 2010 at 12:55 am — Reply

    With all this, aren’t they killing Blackberry service? Who cares anyway, as long as my E63 can do all this.

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