Nokia rolling out micro finance for mobile handsets in India

The company expects high growth in demand for mobile phones in India's rural markets

Nokia plans to roll out a micro financing program for mobile phones across 12 states in India.

The company has completed a pilot of this program across 2,500 villages in the rural areas of the Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states of India. Nokia tied up for the pilot with a micro finance institution to offer mobile handsets on installments of 100 Indian rupees (US$2) a week for 25 weeks.

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that it expects that the benefits of mobility will reach 500 million people in the country by next year.

The penetration of mobile phones in rural India is still very low at 13 percent, and much of the growth in mobile telephony will be in non-urban markets, the company said. Its objective is to lower access barriers as well as total cost of ownership in these markets, it added.

Nokia did not name its micro finance partner.

The mobile phone giant is also launching Nokia Life Tools commercially in the country this year, which includes a range of agriculture information and education services targeted at non-urban consumers. The service was tested in Maharashtra state.

India added 12 million mobile subscribers in June, the latest month for which data is available, taking the total number of subscribers to 427 million, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Mobile service operators and handset makers are targeting India's rural market as the next big opportunity. The rural market is however low margin and geographically dispersed, Kamlesh Bhatia, a principal research analyst at Gartner, said last month.

Data from TRAI for the first quarter of this year showed declining ARPU (average revenue per user) and utilization of mobile phones by consumers, across service providers, reflecting the economic slowdown and expansion of services in rural markets.

Tags indiainnovationmobile phonesNokiamicrofinancing

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?