Nokia tests mobile marketplace for emerging countries

Users of even Nokia's simplest phones will be able to buy or sell goods

Nokia has started beta testing a new service called Listings, which will be a digital marketplace where people in emerging markets can look for a job or buy or sell goods using their Nokia phone, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

Currently, more than 60 percent of job hirings and and consumer-to-consumer transactions are done via word-of-mouth or through middlemen who charge a "hefty commission," but Nokia hopes to make that process simpler by allowing them to be done via a mobile phone.

Nokia Listings will have three major categories of listings: buy and sell; jobs; and local services, which, for example, will allow local auto repair shops to advertise its services, according to Nokia. Listings will also be geo-coded, so users can find goods or a job close to where they live, it said.

The Listings beta application will work on all Nokia devices that support Java, but the application has been optimized for Series 40 phones. The goal is to make Listings work the most basic phones, and if it lacks a GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) connection SMS (Short Message Service) will be used instead, according to Nokia.

During the beta trial, Listings is only available to users in India, Nokia said.

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