MWC 09: Vodafone gets customised Opera

Vodafone has signed on with Opera Software to create a bespoke version of the firm's Mini mobile browser to be used on lower-end handsets.

The custom-made browser will be available in Europe, but also the Middle East, Asia and Africa, to let users in developing markets access the internet via phones with lower specs.

Emerging markets have been a key point of focus at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, as more and more people in such areas of the world are getting online for the first time using handsets. Vodafone today released a series of low-end 2G phones at the show.

The Vodafone-Opera Mini browser will offer full browsing functions, even on Java-based phones. Pages will be compressed as much as 90 per cent. It will enable users to zoom into screens and play video, but only on selected phones, the partners claimed.

The browser will be embedded on some Vodafone handsets, and customers will be able to download it as well.

"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's internet services director. Click here for more news from Mobile World Congress 2009.