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Cellular handset market grows steadily

GROWTH: Sri Lankan cellular handset market is the fastest growing market in the South Asian region, said General Manager, Customer and Market Operations Emerging Asia, Nokia, Prem Chand.


NOKIA
General Manager:
Prem Chand

Speaking at a Nokia event last week he said that the main reason for this is the high GDP, high literacy and the Sri Lanka culture. In addition the low penetration in the handset market is another reason for a faster growth in Sri Lanka.

He said that Sri Lanka was the first country in the region to adopt the 3G technologies and this too has given the country an advantage over the other countries. He said that this was one reason for the company to launch the world's first Sinhala language mobile phone. "This it why Sri Lanka is a very exciting market," he said.

At Nokia World 2006 conference, Nokia announced growth in the mobility industry was accelerating faster than predicted earlier, and that is now expected the industry to reach the milestone of three billion mobile subscriptions globally in 2007. Nokia also gave its new forecast of four billion global mobile subscriptions during 2010.

Nokia also said that it expected more than half of the growth in mobile subscribers to come from emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region, including China and India. The company said it would continue to build its leadership position in these markets with a focus on both new and replacement or upgrade sales.

"Offering iconic designs, a well-balanced range of features and localised language support will deliver to Sri Lankan consumers and experience that is close to their hearts," adds Prem.

Nokia's comprehensive Sinhala language support is provided for its latest range of affordable 'Made by Nokia' mobile phones, which includes the Nokia 2610, Nokia 2310, Nokia 1600, Nokia 1112, Nokia 1110i and Nokia 1110. The local language features include Sinhala text messaging, a talking alarm, a peaking clock, a Sinhala iconic interface, keypad and games.

The Sinhala language phone project involved Nokia research and development teams in Finland, Denmark and China in the creation of these phones.

Nokia was supported by Ravi Abeysekera and his team at Dialog Telekom, Dr. Gihan Dias of the Moratuwa University and Samanthi Weeratunga of Softlogic in the development and testing of the first ever Sinhala language mobile phones in the world.

Nokia also held its first ever dealer conference in Sri Lanka. About 150 dealers all over the island participated at this inaugural event, which showcased the latest trends and developments in handset technology.

The dealer convention is part of Nokia's strategy to deliver an enhanced consumer experience by creating awareness about the needs of different mobile consumer groups. It is also aimed at combating the growing number of unauthorised handsets and accessories that have inundated the local market.

Nokia aims to create awareness about the disadvantages of an expanding grey market and its negative effects on the end-user experience. The dealer conference is also part of Nokia's vision to strengthen its presence in Sri Lanka and increase the accessibility and availability of handsets in all parts of the country.

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Produced by Lake House Copyright 2006 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

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