Orange strikes new Ovi deal with Nokia

Nokia’s Ovi platform has wooed another operator: Orange announced yesterday that it’s struck a new three-year strategic agreement with the handset maker that will see Orange run ten Nokia handsets as part of its Signature range as well as selling Ovi services.

The ten Signature handsets will give users access to the Orange Music Store, both Orange and NGage games, as well as Nokia Maps, through Orange’s traditional user interface. It looks like the companies are betting big on maps in particular: the pair say: the Nokia “Mobile Maps platform and GPS technology will be introduced to a wide portfolio of Nokia handsets in the Orange Signature range” with a view to signing up 10 million users before 2010.

It’s looking pretty good for Nokia’s Ovi right now: getting 10 million maps users from Orange alone is not to be sniffed at (although for a company with one third of the world’s phones, you’d hope they’ve got some bigger targets in mind). But there’s another reason for Nokia to be pleased with itself: Orange’s Signature devices have always been, by and large, Windows Mobile handsets.

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