Vodafone has been working with Opera to bring the mobile internet to more people in developing markets. The two companies have developed an enhanced version of Opera Mini 5 that's been designed to run on budget handsets using 2G networks.
The Opera Mini 5 browser has been embedded in a range of 20 devices and can also be downloaded to over 250 GPRS supported handsets in Vodafone’s customer base. Opera's browser compresses data, requiring less processing power on the handset and less network capacity as well. Vodafone is also creating an on-screen browsing experience that'll feature step-by-step, simple instructions in local languages, with a strong emphasis on the use of intuitive icons to help those with lower levels of literacy.
The initiative is being rolled out in India, South Africa, Turkey, Tanzania and Egypt with other markets expected to follow in the near future.
Jonathan Bill, Vodafone Internet Services Head of Emerging Markets, said "With this product, we can transform even basic handsets into very capable internet browsing devices, enabling millions of people to enjoy the social and economic aspects of the internet that many already take for granted. By significantly enhancing the customer’s internet experience, this initiative will help to boost local economies by encouraging entrepreneurs to create a range of locally-inspired business models and services."