Digicel Plans to Launch Secret Solar-Powered Mobile Phone
Digicel Group, through its partnership with Chinese phone-maker ZTE, has unveiled the world’s first ultra-low-cost solar-powered mobile phone, called the Coral-200-Solar, which is designed specifically for emerging markets where electricity may not be readily available (i.e. PNG). And yes, of course, it’s Earth-friendly too.
The Coral-200-Solar uses proprietary Dutch technology (Intivation) to increase the current from a single 1.2 in. by 2.8 in. mini solar panel, which is located on the back of the phone. Charging the phone for one hour in full sunlight will provide 15 minutes of talk time. The device can also be charged via a conventional electrical outlet.
There are an estimated two billion people in the world who have limited or no access to electricity so making a solar mobile seems a rather logical decision. The population of many emerging markets in which Digicel provides cellular services will benefit greatly by access to a mobile handset that can be powered by the sun, or by electric power when it is available.
Tom Bryant, Digicel Group VP of Distribution/Procurement made the following comment at the launch:
“Solar-powered handsets are clearly the way to meet the needs of power-challenged users across the globe. While the idea of solar-powered handsets has been around for some time, it has taken the leadership of Digicel and the technology and manufacturing skills of its partners Intivation and ZTE to make the Coral-200-Solar handset a reality. This marks another first for Digicel and we think our customers are going to love this great device.”
Digicel will launch its’ Coral-200-Solar in Haiti, Samoa and Papua New Guinea in June. Initial approximate costs place the new phone to be sold at around $US 40 (ONLY 109 PNG Kina!). The solar panel is about a quarter of the total cost of the 40-dollar handset.
Xiong Hui, VP of ZTE’s Handset Division also stated:
“As mobile phones continue to proliferate in emerging markets and are widely used where electricity is available, mobile operators are demanding more innovative handsets. We are confident that the Digicel Coral-200-Solar is such a product and that solar power technology can be used in any type of handset. We are pleased to provide this handset with Digicel and Intivation. It will help millions of consumers worldwide to use mobile phones more conveniently and the technology is more environment-friendly.”
Here are the official released photos of the Coral-200-Solar: