By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Technology
Vodafone's solar-powered mobile handset is intended for the Indian market, where a third of the population does not have access to the power grid.
Wireless mobile phone carrier Vodafone on Tuesday unveiled a solar-powered mobile handset for India, where a third of the population does not have access to the power grid.
The VF 247 Solar Powered phone, priced at 1,500 rupees (approx. $32 USD), needs eight hours of direct sunlight to be fully charged. (It can also charge in normal interior daylight using "Sun Boost" software.)
That's not a problem for most rural residents, who have plentiful sun but no access to electricity.
The phone can support more than eight days of use on standby and four hours of talk time, and comes with an electronic charger, FM radio and "torch" lamp. Vodafone says the phone will be available in stores next month.
Despite inadequate infrastructure, there are almost 20 million new mobile subscribers each month in India. Vodafone, the No. 2 carrier in India, says it covers 65 percent of rural areas in the country.
"Vodafone's solar powered phone is launched for people residing in areas where electric supply is unstable, so that consumers can rely on solar charging to remain connected," Vodafone Essar CEO Marten Pieters said in a statement. "This launch is likely to enable more people in rural India to go mobile and thus increase penetration from the current 20 percent."
Jul 27, 2010
@ keitha73: I find it odd that anyone living in the technological age that we are all in would question the desire for a cell phone by any person. Increasing communication is a good thing, and people there have the right to choose what they do. What is interesting about this is that the phone is cheap, and uses solar power. There are always drawbacks to any new product, but solar power is a huge advantage for a lot of people. My question is this: Why don't we have this in the US? Corporate gasbags need to stop stifling the innovation of the creative people working for them before the United States falls behind on every aspect of technological advancement.