Solar-powered cellphone to be launched in SA

Posted by: Yes Solar Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) – 08 August 2010

Vodafone India launched the cellphone in that country last week, to meet the needs of people in rural areas with an unstable electricity supply.

Vodafone VF 247

Vodacom is hoping to unveil the VF 247 phone locally, as soon as next month.

“The solar-charging feature is likely to appeal across a whole range of people, but we think it will come in particularly handy in rural areas and townships,” said Richard Boorman, executive head of corporate communications at Vodacom.

The phone has integrated solar panels and, depending on the strength of the sunlight and network, Boorman said one hour of charging provided about 10 minutes of talk time.

The phone comes with an FM radio, torch light and speaker. It charges when exposed to ambient light. The unit went on sale in India at around R440 but local prices are not yet available.

Solar power is not the only form of alternative energy being tapped by cellphone companies.

Nokia launched a bicycle charger in June, punted as an “eco-friendly” way to recharge phones. Charging starts at a walking pace of around 6km/h and is as efficient as an electrical charger at a speed of 12km/h.

By: Nashira Davids
Source: Times Live

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