Imagine if you were an inexperienced user of the mobile Internet, or perhaps even using the Internet for the first time, wouldn’t you find it a little overwhelming?
How would you be able to find useful information that was relevant to you, and that you could use to improve your life in areas such as work, family, money and health?
Nokia Life, a service for people who don’t have access to, or cannot afford to use cellular data, has provided such valuable information to over 76 million people in India, China, Nigeria and Indonesia.
Now, a new web application called Nokia Life+ builds on that success to provide millions more people with easy access to life improvement information.
Nokia Life+ is supported across a range of basic Nokia handsets, Series 40 phones and the Asha smartphones, including the recently launched Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309.
The free Nokia Life+ web application can be downloaded from the Nokia Store, or it can be accessed directly through the new and improved Nokia Xpress Browser, which compresses data by up to 90%, resulting in faster and more affordable mobile Internet access.
“What we noticed is that there is vast amounts of information which is available on the Internet but this itself does not provide much useful information for people to consume on their mobile phone. It is still difficult for them to get relevant services,” says the Vice President and Global Head of Nokia Life, Jawahar Kanjilal, in an interview with Conversations.
“With Nokia Life+ we provide a suite of life improvement information services and allow people easy access to valuable information, which can enable them to experience a better quality of life.”
A richer Internet experience
Nokia Life will continue to exist and to grow side by side with Nokia Life+. It is a natural progression that people will graduate from SMS services to wanting richer content and a more web-based experience – this is where Nokia Life+ comes in.
The service, which is completely free to use (minus the data charges), is available in English in over 18 countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, South Africa, Malaysia and Kenya.
This global version of Nokia Life+ has two key services at launch – Life Skills and Live Healthy, with more to come in the future.
- Life Skills helps young people in particular to develop their inter-personal skills, manage their personal finances and how to start running their own businesses.
- Live Healthy offers assistance on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, preventing and treating common illnesses and information on a wide-range of health topics.
There are also local versions of Nokia Life+ coming later in Nigeria, China and India, while Indonesia already has one. They will have local language support and also localised services that is tailored for each country.
An ecosystem of global and local content partners provides Nokia Life+ with reliable and accurate information. For example, the Foundation for Social Change helps with the personal finance service in ‘Life Skills’.
Nokia Life and Nokia Life+ works closely with content partners, and also with NGOs and UN agencies because of the convergence of social development interests.
However, the original aim, and it remains the case, is to add value to Nokia’s handsets and to accelerate people into the digital information era – the connecting of the next billion.
“The topics that we have chosen sync up very closely with health, education, youth, women and life skills – all those Millennium Development Goals and orientated topics,” says Jawahar.
“People find them relevant in their daily lives. They are utilitarian – it’s not entertainment or social networking but people still find relevance in those topics.”
Nokia Life and now Nokia Life+ are nice examples where you can do good business, and do some good at the same time.