Training: Nokia boosting mobile application developement in East Africa

Leading phone maker Nokia, announced completion of its second training programmes in East Africa aimed at boosting the knowledge base of mobile software developers.

The three-month training programme equipped a new set of developers with skills to create applications using Java. Java technology enables the developer to address a huge diversity of market segments, including those in emerging markets.

The Java Runtime for Nokia delivers a comprehensive set of consistent Java APIs to Nokia devices based on Symbian and the Series 40 platform. This technology enables the developer to build sophisticated applications for multiple devices with confidence.

The core benefit of the Java platform is that it can run on top of several different operating systems.

The program ran from 7th February to 13 May 2011 involving 70 students selected from over 500 applicants in Kenya and Uganda. The selected students were taken through a fully-paid 14-week programme that included hands-on code laboratories dedicated to mobile technologies.

Speaking during the graduation of the student, Kenneth Oyolla, Nokia’s General Manager East and Southern Africa said the objective was to provide in-depth mobile Java training knowledge to top talent in the region. He said this would enable them access Nokia’s array of tools that allow them to push the boundaries of web applications.

Mr Oyolla said “Building this knowledge will not only help operators increase volume and Average Revenue per User (ARPU) but will also enable developers to make money from mobile applications. Java applications are supported by Series 40 (S40), which represents the highest volume mobile developer platform – representing a huge opportunity for profitability in the mobile industry.”

He said Nokia sold 453 million devices in 2010, 353 million of which were ‘feature’ mobile phones, representing a million devices each day or more than 11 each second.

“Approximately 600 million S40 phones are in use today and all of the support Java and online access. There are over 5 billion mobile users globally and a vast majority of people are using feature phones that support only Java, not smartphones,” said Mr. Oyolla.

Ms Agatha Gikunda, the Nokia’s Head of Solutions Sales in East and Southern Africa said: “The students came up with a total of 20 applications offering information and apps experience from a cross-section of areas including agriculture, travel, entertainment and health, to mention a few.

This is one of the most successful of the training programmes in East and Southern Africa and is a big boost to the Nokia’s fast-growing developers’ ecosystem,” said Ms Gikunda.

Nokia has an evolving user interface (UI) with’ Touch’ and ‘QWERTY’ and enhanced capabilities increase applications and service use on Series 40 phones.

Furthermore, the device performance has increased and the latest features include things like Wi-Fi and location awareness. It also has accelerometer and capability to run selected applications in the background, which enable smartphone-like experiences at affordable price.

Ms Gikunda added: “We have received very encouraging feedback from the students and we are convinced that this will even spread the word and knowledge to our pool of upcoming developers. We had a host of ideas from consumers on the sort of applications they would want on their mobile phones and the developers have created these. Our consumers should expect to see these applications on Nokia’s Ovi Store

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