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Vodafone launches solar powered phone

George Osborne and Marten Pieters, MD and CEO, Vodafone Essar Ltd., launched the VF 247 in Mumbai.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Vodafone Essar, one of India’s leading cellular services providers, today announced the launch of its latest generation eco-friendly solar charging handset in India. The new handset uses a solar powered solution to benefit users in areas with adequate sunlight. UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP and Marten Pieters, MD and CEO, Vodafone Essar Ltd., today launched the VF 247 Solar Powered phone at the Vodafone store in Fort, Mumbai.

The launch of VF 247 solar powered phone is in keeping with Vodafone’s aim to increase mobile technology accessibility for millions in India. With an extended solar powered battery, the solar powered phone addresses the problem of unstable electricity supply in many rural areas. VF 247 solar powered phone charges by itself, by exposure to ambient light. Sun Boost, the special inbuilt hardware and software ensures that the phone charges also in a room, under normal daylight.

Speaking on the launch, UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon George Osborne MP said, “I’m very pleased to help launch Vodafone’s new solar powered handset. It’s the new UK-India economic partnership in action. The handset will get more people connected, paying less and doing their bit for the environment.”

“Reflecting a strong commitment to the Indian market, Vodafone continues to launch affordable products and services to cater to the differentiated needs of consumers.” said Marten Pieters, MD and CEO, Vodafone Essar Ltd. “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. This launch is likely to enable more people in rural India to go mobile and thus increase penetration from the current 20%. We will continue to invest to uplift the quality of telecom services and products in India.”

Vodafone’s rural network coverage of 65% is the second highest in India. It also has the second largest rural subscriber base in the country. The VF 247 solar powered phone comes with essential mobile phone features such as FM radio, color screen and a powerful torch light and will be commercially available shortly.

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Published 27 July 2010