Nigerian CDMA operator Visafone Communications and Finnish mobile handset supplier Nokia have entered into an agreement to introduce dual-band mobile CDMA handsets for consumers through the operator’s 3,000 dealer outlets nationwide, writes Nigeria Daily Independent. The duo say the aim of the partnership is to promote open market availability of CDMA devices with similar features and aesthetics to GSM handsets. Ninan Thomas, Visafone’s managing director, said that the aggressive growth in the subscriber base of CDMA operators has given mobile handset manufacturers and suppliers the confidence to make CDMA devices directly available to subscribers. In the pilot phase of the partnership, Nokia will introduce four dual-band CDMA models in the mid- to high-end range, equipped with facilities such as data compatibility, cameras, FM radios and music capabilities.
Visafone hopes the new partnership will help extend its leadership in the CDMA market; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database the company was Nigeria’s largest mobile CDMA operator and fourth largest wireless operator in the market as a whole by subscribers at 31 March 2009, posting a customer base of 2.27 million.