Kenyan government has partnered with Nokia in the just launched product by Nokia, Nokia Life. Currently available in China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria, Nokia Life will be delivering life improving content to those who have been hindered by access to tools like internet access. Nokia Life will be delivering content via an application installed in Nokia feature phones. This will be delivered in a subscription model where users will pay Kshs 2 per day on both Safaricom and Airtel networks. The subscription is opt in- opt out and is on a monthly model.
Kenya’s Information permanent secretary, Dr. Bitange Ndemo says the government will leverage on mobile technologies like this one to bring more products that are value adding to Kenyan people. He gave an example where farmers can now access farm produce prices in various markets to avoid middle men exploitation. Another example is in a situation where a house help has probably overdosed a child in their care. Information delivered via Nokia life tools would enable some one to get a remedy while they fetch for emergency care. Ndemo said that we as Kenyans need local content for most of these things to work for us and placed emphasis for people to realize the opportunities that Open data presents to them and come up with products that matter to Kenyans based on the data presented in Open Data.
Bruce Howe, Nokia East Africa General Manager said that Nokia life tools will deliver custom Internet grade SMS messages for a specific category that the user subscribes to. He added that Nokia Life is an important part of Nokia strategy to connect the next billion. Kenya, like many emerging markets, has numerous social needs. Traditional channels don’t always provide the solution, but the enormous uptake of mobile phones creates an opportunity for locally relevant information to be disseminated via mobile.
Currently, Nokia Life for Kenya offers services under the education, health, spirituality and entertainment categories, aligning closely to the expressed needs of local users. These include services like Learn English, developed in partnership with the British Council; Life Skills, developed with Foundation for Social Change; and Parenting Advice, developed with global children’s charity, Plan International. Specific topics such as HIV; diabetes and heart conditions are also covered under the health banner, while the entertainment portfolio includes favourites such as wallpapers, horoscopes and ringtones, as well as news headlines provided locally by Capital FM.