Solar powered mobile chargers set for UAE

Suntrica looks to bring its SolarStrap charger to the region

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Solar powered mobile chargers set for UAE The SolarStrap is a flexible charger which uses ambient light to charge electronic devices
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By  Shane McGinley Published  February 18, 2010

Finnish company Suntrica is currently in negotiations to introduce solar powered mobile phone chargers in the UAE, the company told Arabian Business at the Mobile World Congress, which is taking place in Barcelona this week.

The company, established in 2006 in Tampere, one of Finland's main ICT hubs, has created the SolarStrap, a device it says works by converting ambient solar energy into usable electrical energy which can provide an unlimited source of power for personal electronic devices.

The flexible chargers can be used to power mobile phones, MP3 players, GPS systems and digital cameras and comes with a range of plug options to suit various devices and models. Suntrica has also just launched versions that are compatible with Apple's iPod and iPhone devices.

Jouka Hayrynen, CEO of Suntrica, told Arabian Business that the company had received a lot of positive feedback from distributors in the UAE and is currently in negotiations to introduce the products to the region.

"You cannot buy it in Dubai yet [but] we are talking to various distributors and operators at the moment," said Hayrynen.

The system is aimed at a range of target markets: those that live in rural areas, those that work predominately outdoors and those that frequently travel internationally between countries with different voltage levels or electrical socket systems.

The charge time is the same as with traditional adaptors and in Europe the device retails at an average of 40 euros ($55).

Suntrica's biggest markets are currently Africa and India, but it sees big potential growth as the GSM Association - the global body representing the mobile communications industry - estimates that some 1.6 billion people do not have access to electricity and another billion live in areas with unreliable access to power.

Hayrynen added that the chargers were being used by Red Cross relief workers to charge mobile phones in earthquake-stricken Haiti.

At the Mobile World Congress, the company also launched a new Suntrica High Power Solar Harvesting Unit, which has been designed to provide rural communities in emerging markets with charging facilities for electronic devices that can be shared or sold on by entrepreneurs.

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