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Uniting communities with 3G

Nokia Siemens Networks partners with Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to promote digital inclusion

(PresseBox) (New Delhi, India, ) Nokia Siemens Networks has joined hands with Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to promote digital inclusion during the forthcoming 2009 edition of the Manthan Award South Asia, to be held from Dec 18-19, 2009 in New Delhi. The event, organized by DEF, is South Asia's largest on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for commerce, governance and rural development.

As part of the partnership, the Manthan Award will include a dedicated threehour joint session on Uniting Communities with 3G, under the broader Manthan theme of Digital Inclusion for Development. The session will focus on the affordability and convenience of the mobile devices, networks and services that are playing a crucial role in bringing the Internet to a wider audience, both in urban and rural areas across the world.

"This partnership reflects a common understanding by both us and DEF on the importance and challenges of digital inclusion for overall industry development said Urs Pennanen, head of the Indian region at Nokia Siemens Networks. "Affordable access to communications technology encourages social inclusion and contributes to progress in a range of social economic and environmental issues."

The introduction of 3Genabled mobile services will provide affordable Internet access in rural areas of India and other South Asian countries. This will more than make up for low personal computer penetration in these areas and help bridge the digital divide.

"By joining hands with Nokia Siemens Networks, we hope to strengthen what could prove to be the single biggest step towards socioeconomic transformation in India and South Asia," said Osama Manzar, founder and director, Digital Empowerment Foundation. "The possibilities are endless - 3G will positively impact many areas, including health services, education, agriculture and governance.

The Manthan Award is a firstofitskind initiative in India to recognize the best practices in econtent and creativity. It was launched on 10th October 2004, by Digital Empowerment Foundation in partnership with World Summit Award, the Indian Department of Information Technology, and various other stakeholders such as civil society members, the media and other similar organizations engaged in promoting digital content inclusiveness for development throughout South Asia. This year, the award will be given under thirteen categories ranging from ebusiness and commerce, eeducation, egovernance to m-content.

About Digital Empowerment Foundation

Digital Empowerment Foundation, a Delhi based notforprofit organization was registered in December 2002, under the "Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860" to find solutions to bridge the digital divide. With no political affiliations, it was founded by Osama Manzar to uplift the downtrodden and to create economic and commercial viability using Information Communication and Technology as means. It was actively started in the year 2003 after the founder director left his software company to seriously pursue the aims and objectives of Digital Empowerment Foundation.

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Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading global enabler of telecommunications services. With its focus on innovation and sustainability, the company provides a complete portfolio of mobile, fixed and converged network technology, as well as professional services including consultancy and systems integration, deployment, maintenance and managed services. It is one of the largest telecommunications hardware, software and professional services companies in the world. Operating in 150 countries, its headquarters are in Espoo, Finland.