Nokia has launched a new portable solar charger in Kenya in an attempt to cut down its customers' dependency on the country's electrical grid
According to the company, the step was essential because 80 per cent people in the country do not have regular and consistent access to electricity.
The Nokia Portable Solar Charger, DC-40, will be marketed by the company itself to test the viability of solar charging as an alternative mobile phone charging system in Africa.
The charger will be available in Kenya in limited quantities during the pilot period at selected Nokia Premium Partner outlets across the country.
A statement from Nokia said, “The technical solution is a thin film panel, measuring 165mm x 237mm with a long cable and Nokia plug interface. Weighing only 93gms, the solar charger is portable and with one minute of charging, consumers will be able to get approximately two minutes of talk time.”
The statement added that the charger would be most efficient when used in direct sunlight where the average charging time for full charge on a 1,000mAh battery would be less than four hours.
According to Nokia, Kenya and Nigeria provide the perfect opportunity for testing this solution, with recent World Bank reports indicating that only 16 per cent and 51 per cent of Kenyans and Nigerians respectively had regular access to electricity between 2007 and 2011.
Nokia East Africa general manager, Bruce Howe, said, “There are numerous advantages to this solution, including being able to serve consumers who fall outside regular electricity supply, or those who need a quick charge on the go.
“Perhaps the greatest benefit is the cost saving achieved by being able to harness the natural resource of the sun,” he added