The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nokia lists growth drivers

Manila, Oct. 6 (PTI): Nokia sees instant messaging and consumer e-mail as the next big growth drivers to help it retain its leading position in the Indian market. The company is also aiming partnerships with domestic Internet service providers (ISPs) to unveil these features.

“We work closely with Yahoo on the instant messaging side, but would also look at local players in India who are strong in instant messaging and consumer e-mail. These are the ISPs who will be interested in working with us in this space,” Nokia Asia-Pacific vice-president (sales and market operations) Alex Lambeek said here.

He said low penetration of e-mail and instant messaging made them attractive for Nokia to target. “Imaging and music on phones have taken off over the last couple of years. I think the next big area would actually be instant messaging and consumer e-mail.”

Lambeek said the low penetration of the services in India would help the company create demand and tap it too.

“I see a big opportunity here,” he said, adding a lot of people in India would like to have an e-mail account but cannot afford to have a personal computer or a laptop.

“So why could this first e-mail experience not be through the mobile phone, or instant messaging'” he said.

Earlier this year, the Finnish mobile firm started manufacturing handsets in India at its facility in Sriperumbudur near Chennai, where it is investing $150 million.

At the time of beginning operations, the company had said apart from meeting the domestic demands, the Indian facility would also be gradually scaled up as an export hub for Nokia phones, catering to south Asian requirements.

Asked whether the company planned to introduce low-cost phones in the market to support its new initiatives and strategies, Lambeek said apart from the instruments, the cost of data and operators also needed to be low to push the services.

“We need to make sure that the branded cost of the phone is acceptable, but so is the cost of using the data on the network. So we need to partner with the operators to make sure that the overall cost of e-mail and instant messaging is acceptable to consumers. All the things go hand-in-hand,” he said.

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