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Nokia to offer music, gaming services
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Chennai, April 8 Nokia today announced a slew of services, across different uses of the mobile phone, such as music, gaming, navigation and image sharing, to be launched this year.

It is close to launching ‘Nokia music store’. Under this service, Nokia handset owners would be able to download music for a fee. Those who buy certain new devices could also get unlimited downloads of music for a period of time, say, a year. Customers could walk into a Nokia store and download the music they want.

Mr Vineet Taneja, Director-Marketing, Nokia India, puts the mobile music market at Rs 1,200-1,500 crore. At a presentation Nokia officials made to the media here today, it was noted that it was not just youth who consumed music delivered on the mobile phone. A lot of middle-aged joggers, for instance, listened to mobile music as they took their health run.

Messaging service

Nokia is readying itself to launch a messaging service “in a matter of days”, through which users can access their email accounts at one go, be it mail services from Yahoo!, Gmail or even an office-goer’s MS Exchange. According to Mr Taneja, the service would be available “at a rocker of a price” and Nokia expects to bag “millions of customers”. This service would also target the B2B segment, especially the SMEs, who may need email services more for business purposes.

Location-based service

Nokia is launching location-based services that would help locate stores in the vicinity of the user looking for good bargains. Through OVI.com, it is also to offer image sharing services. Nokia phone users taking pictures on their mobile can share them with friends and family on the Web site, but they would continue to have the option of using other similar applications such as Flickr.

Gaming service

Nokia’s gaming service, ‘N-Gage’, would soon be available in India with additional games and an expanded online offering. The offering has 30 titles from publishers such as EA Mobile, Gameloft, Glu Mobile and India Games. According to Mr Vishal Gondal, Chief Executive at Indiagames, currently there are about four million paid, game downloads a month. “This is small - only 1-1.5 per cent of the total subscribers.”

Mr Gondal said ‘games’ are the biggest downloads after ringtones and wall paper. Even in small villages with population of less than 10,000, there are people who download games. He expects this to reach between 6-8 per cent by 2013-14 which would mean a mobile gaming industry of Rs 1,500 crore. This compares with a Rs 200 crore industry for 2008.

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