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Vodafone plans mini-browser for 2G handsets
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#1
British telecom giant Vodafone is hoping to tap into India's fast-growing mobile Internet market through the launch of a new Opera mini- browser for low-cost handsets on 2G networks.

The company hasn't announced a specific launch date yet but said that India would be among the first markets where the Opera browser would be available along side South Africa, Turkey, Tanzania, and Egypt.

Vodafone said it had developed the technology with Norwegian firm Opera Software to compress data by up to 90 per cent, requiring less processing power on the handset and less network capacity.

The browser would be available on many of Vodafone's own-brand lower-cost phones, said a company spokesman.

Hot competition

The development comes as mobile companies in India seek new routes for revenue growth as hot competition has forced them to slash the price of voice calls and texts.

India now has the lowest call rates in the world, while companies are finding that the new growth areas – customers in the less heavily populated “circles” of Indian telecom coverage – are spending less than those in urban areas, somewhat offsetting the gains from the growth in their customer base.

Usage

Mobile Internet use has been identified as a high growth area: British research firm mobileSquared estimates that 1.4 billion mobile users across Asia will frequently connect to the internet using their mobiles by 2015, with 260 million coming from India – a world away from the 38 million frequent mobile Internet users expected in the UK in the same time frame.

Vodafone says the new browser would be the first time many users had proper access to the Internet, and it had, therefore, designed the phone to be as “intuitive as possible.”

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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Opera is one of the best browsers for mobile internet.
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