Nokia today announced the launch of Ovi Life Tools (Nokia Ovi Sheng Huo Tong) in China. Designed for the emerging markets, Ovi Life Tools offers a wide range of information services covering healthcare, agriculture, education and entertainment. The service addresses the needs of rural consumers with the vision to provide livelihood and life-impacting benefits to improve their economic prosperity and quality of life. At launch, two affordable and easy-to-use mobile phones, the Nokia 1616 and the Nokia 1800, will support the new service.
"While China’s urbanization is growing rapidly, we believe there is a compelling need to provide mobile solutions in emerging markets bringing affordable, quality, and locally relevant information direct to the consumer," said Chris Leong, Senior Vice President, Greater China, Korea & Japan.
"As an innovative rural mobile solution addressing the information gaps of rural people in China, Ovi Life Tools was designed from the ground up through extensive research. It is a result of close cooperation between partners and we are sure it will continue to develop over time helping to enhance the lives of consumers," said Ms Leong.
According to Sun Xiaoming, Deputy Director of China Rural Technology Development Center of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, "Currently there are almost 732 million rural residents in China: which is roughly 55 percent of the total population. The Chinese Government has consistently placed rural issues as a top priority, and this includes the development, access and dissemination of information to people in rural areas. Fast and effective communication coupled with locally relevant information will help promote economic growth and productivity.
"Nokia’s Ovi Life Tools is an example of how a private company can provide innovative solutions which are relevant, affordable and beneficial to the larger population, and this effectively complements the Government’s effort to bridge the technology and information gap currently faced," Ms Sun said.
"Mobile phones are widely used by people in rural areas; for many, it is their primary source of information. I would like to congratulate Nokia for developing a unique and innovative service that has tremendous potential to improve lives and the livelihood of farmers and sub-urban consumers," added Ms Sun.
Nokia has been working with a number of partners in building Ovi Life Tools in order to develop a healthy ecosystem for all stakeholders in the value chain including mobile operators, content providers and service providers.
Mr Li Yong, Chairman of Beijing Nongxintong Technology, the content provider for the agriculture service, said, "For many years we have been searching for ways to provide agriculture information that allows rural people to acquire personalized content on their mobile phones. The solution that Nokia brings allows us to do this today."
Nokia’s Ovi Life Tools in China
Ovi Life Tools will be available across China on the Nokia 1616 and the Nokia 1800, and will be available on more devices in the future. The SMS- based service will be in simplified Chinese, and features four categories: healthcare, agriculture, education and entertainment.
Nokia is launching Ovi Life Tools with six major partners – 39.net, Beijing Nongxintong Technology Co. Ltd., Beijing Etiantian Net Educational Technology Co. Ltd (Beijing Sizhong Ltd.), British Council, Kongzhong Corporation and Sina.com.
The service is available to consumers via subscription or on demand. Consumers can activate the service from an icon on the menu of the device and can choose any one of four selected services to enjoy a 2-week free trial use. Beside the free service, users can also subscribe to the other premium content offered in the menu.
The healthcare service features information on topics including Respiratory, Hepatitis B, Female Illnesses and Male Illnesses. It also includes Pregnancy Care which provides daily content that parallels the weekly development stages of pregnancy (e.g. fetal development), and Infant Care, which provides advice and tips to support child development for the first seven years. The subscription cost for each of the healthcare services is RMB 5 per month and RMB 1 for each on-demand request. The content will be aggregated and brought to Ovi Life Tools by 39.net.
Agriculture service is a package covering Agriculture News, Market Prices, and Agriculture Weather. The service provides daily market prices of more than 800 markets spanning across city and county levels. With over 100 commodities in the database, consumers will be shown a list of popular commodities in their county where they can select up to three for their daily use. The subscription cost for the agriculture service is RMB 8 per month and RMB 1 for each on-demand request. Nokia is working with Beijing Nongxintong Technology to provide the agriculture content.
The education service features Learn English, General Knowledge and Exam Tips. These services will be made available in the third quarter of 2010. This service is only available by subscription, costing RMB 5 per month each. The content will be aggregated and brought to Ovi Life Tools by Beijing Etiantian Net Educational Technology and the British Council.
The entertainment service includes Weather, Jokes and Straw Draw, with more content to be added in the future. The subscription cost is RMB 5 per month and RMB 1 per on-demand request. The content is provided by Kongzhong Corporation and Sina.com.