In the past ten years, a technology revolution has overwhelmed the advanced and developing worlds. In this revolution, the role of computers and Information Technology (IT), and especially the mobile phone technology has changed the mode of living and doing business. Apart from other technological applications the communication medium with the introduction of new and sophisticated products, especially mobile phones has changed the concept of “wait till one reaches his office or home” to “then and there” and this has resulted in efficiency and “saving time” beyond imagination. Today, the two most important elements in modern technology are the information and communication technologies helping to break all the cultural and religious barriers and artificial and imaginary boundaries, creating a global vision of togetherness and developing better understanding between all the peoples of the world.
The role of mobile phone technology in bringing peoples of different regions, languages, cultures and religions together and this was possible only because of access to communication which has helped in breaking many taboos and barriers. The access to communication, the ease with which communication may take place is of great importance in today’s world when the concept of global village is being understood and accepted. In this respect, mobile phone technology has expanded and has taken under its wings several other important aspects of information, sound and visual effects, recording, storing, reminding, and several other functions which has made life easy and has raised the quality of life to higher levels of comforts at work and also when in home environment.
Many mobile companies are trying to gain markets in Europe and Asia but that is not enough. Looking at many brands/ products in the mobile business, Nokia has entered research and development (R&D) to provide better technologies, multi-purpose usage for higher benefits, and efficient systems for quick and finger-tip solutions. In this connection, Nokia has taken the lead in going all out for providing customer services with many facets. At Nokia, the thinking behind a product for consumers, at the development stage, involves such elements as, what the customer may want, cultural idiosyncrasies of the people where the product is to be introduced and the prevailing environment with regards to infrastructure etc. Also, some special requirements (Muslim countries) based on market-research in many countries. It is in this area that Nokia seems to have gone ahead of its competitors and is thus providing ‘tailor made’ products for various regions of vast differences, cultures and languages.
In ‘Growing together’ some innovative ideas have been floated or rather where ‘pilot projects’ have already been introduced. The most interesting is in the education sector. This is based on taking education to less developed rural areas by introducing special mobile phones to school children for using the same in a classroom situation, for taking lessons, solving problems and keeping in touch with their teachers. The whole project where the beginning has already been made as a ‘pilot project’ is gaining momentum. As this is based on ‘online information service’ the system will have many other benefits too. The most important element in this project being that disabled children who may not be able to travel to schools will be linked with schools and education process will begin for them. In an underdeveloped area, remote villages and areas not yet linked with the main stream of things will also benefit in terms of education through mobile phones.
Another revolutionary project is the “Village Connection Internet Kiosk” which is unique in the sense that it will change the quality of life in rural areas and underdeveloped places. A kiosk system controlled by a single computer in a village environment will provide all such information necessary for uplifting quality of life in areas where there is lack of facilities and information is hard to come. Information such as commodity prices, healthcare and education, running small businesses and banking facilities and information on several other areas will certainly help in improving living standards and economically uplifting the whole area.
Such schemes and many other projects coupled with high technology carrying quality products have become hallmark of Nokia. It is in striving and working hard towards developing useful and highly efficient products with all types of customers need taken care of – is where excellence becomes the household name.
— Mohsin S. Jaffri