Vodafone has signed an agreement with Opera Software to develop a custom-made version of the mobile browser Opera Mini, aimed at giving customers with low- and mid-priced handsets a higher quality mobile internet experience on the go.
Opera Mini will be available in Vodafone markets across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The browser is particularly appealing to customers in developing countries who are likely to experience the internet for the first time through a mobile phone.
It allows them to browse the internet on the go even on Java low-cost mobile handsets.
Vodafone customers will benefit from the ability to enjoy the full web-browsing functionality on Java mobile phones as well as an icon-based display that is easy to personalise.
In addition, customers will be able to take advantage of an easy zoom in and out feature which automatically fits the mobile screen, and on selected handsets the ability to view video content from popular sites such as YouTube.
At the same time, web pages are compressed by up to 90% before being sent to the customer's handset, which means that browsing is fast even in areas of relatively low network speeds, said Opera.
As a result, the handset is able to devote more of its resources to giving the user a high-quality browsing experience.
As part of the global framework agreement with Opera Software, selected Vodafone operating companies will be able to pre-embed the Vodafone version of the Opera Mini browser on Java-based portfolio handsets, or encourage customers to download it themselves.
"We are confident that the agreement with Opera Software will help to ensure that customers will be able to enjoy an even more fulfilling mobile internet experience on their handsets," said Pieter Knook, Vodafone internet services director.