Firefox OS arrives in Latin America



Above image: The ZTE Open Firefox OS smartphone in white

  • Alcatel OneTouch Fire and ZTE Open Firefox OS smartphones go on sale through Movistar in Colombia and Venezuela on 1 August
  • Firefox OS to launch in Brazil during Q4

1 August 2013: Telefónica today announces the next wave of Firefox OS launches with the Alcatel OneTouch Fire and ZTE Open devices going on sale in Colombia and Venezuela today. This follows the launch of the ZTE Open through Movistar in Spain on July 2nd.

In Colombia, both devices are now available through Movistar stores and priced at COP 199.900 on prepay or COP 99.900 on a 12 month contract at COP 39.900 per month. As a special promotion, contract customers will receive the internet free for the first month*.

In Venezuela, the Alcatel OneTouch Fire will cost Bs. 1.739 and the ZTE Open Bs. 1.159, both with a Bs. 165 per month contract. Movistar is also offering customers an additional 200MB of data allowance per month for the first three months of their contract**. Both devices are available from today through Movistar sales channels.

The launch of Firefox OS in Latam marks a significant milestone for the mobile industry there with consumers able for the first time to buy a smartphone based entirely on open web standards. Firefox OS frees consumers and developers from the constraints of existing closed ecosystems by using the web as the platform for all functionality and applications.

Consumers are also benefiting from a great value package, making Firefox OS ideal for cost conscious customers or those looking to upgrade to a smartphone for the first time. The experience will be further enhanced as new features and capabilities are added via over the air updates.

Commenting on the launches, Yotam Ben-Ami, Director of Open Web Devices at Telefónica Digital said, “There is strong momentum building behind Firefox OS as we bring more devices to more of our markets. But this is just the beginning as the platform, content ecosystem and range of devices continues to expand. There is an inherent imbalance in the smartphone market at the moment and we believe that Firefox OS represents the best opportunity to restore balance and provide a more open smartphone experience to customers.”

“Firefox OS powers the first smartphones built entirely on Web technologies and will stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation for the Web,” says Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer. “We are proud to work with partners like Telefonica which see the potential to deliver an experience for first time smartphone users which will delight them and really put the power of the Web in everyone’s hands.”

Firefox OS offers customers everything they need from a smartphone plus a revolutionary new search capability that allows the device to adapt to the user’s changing needs and is only built into Firefox OS. Swipe to the right from the home screen and enter a search term and the phone will customize itself to that search. For example, search for an artist and get results to buy songs, watch music videos, buy concert tickets and even listen to them instantly without having to download and install any apps.

The Alcatel One Touch Fire

Above image: The Alcatel One Touch Fire

In addition to the discoverability of content via this adaptive search capability, customers will also benefit from easy access to familiar global and local apps through the Firefox Marketplace. Global content partners supporting Firefox OS include eBay, Badoo, KAYAK, The Weather Channel, Fox Sports TMZ, AOL, Wikipedia, CNNMoney, Huffington Post, TIME, Time Out, SoundCloud and Tuenti.

In addition, local content partners supporting the platform include El Nacional, Meridiano, Cinex, Bancaribe, Panorama and Globovision in Venezuela, and Paginas Amarillas, Semana, Futbol red and El tiempo in Colombia. Telefónica and Mozilla have worked closely to ensure relevant local apps are available at launch and will continue to build the portfolio of local apps available to ensure customers can find what is most relevant to them.

Both handsets offer all of the capabilities of a smartphone including messaging, email, calendar, FM radio, camera with built-in style filters, location-based services from HERE maps and browsing via the Firefox Web browser.

The Alcatel OneTouch Fire features a 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen display, 3.2MP camera, 1 Gigahertz Qualcomm processesor and has 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM. It weighs 108g and supports up to 6h 40 mins talktime on 2G.

The ZTE Open features a 3.5-inch, HVGA TFT touchscreen display and has a Qualcomm 1 Gigahertz processor with 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM. It also features a 3.2MP camera.

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*In Colombia, the postpay plan is COP 39.900 per month which includes 500MB data and 90 minutes of calls to any destination (on and off net). Customers will receive the data element free for the first month, meaning the plan costs COP 19.629 in month one.

** The Movistar Full 150 plan in Venezuela costs Bs. 165 per month which includes 150 MB of data, 120 minutes on net, 30 minutes off net and 800 SMS. Both devices will also be available on the Movistar Full 250 plan which costs Bs. 190 per month and includes 250 MB of data, 180 minutes on net, 60 minutes off net and 800 SMS. As a special promotion, customers that activate the Full 150 plan on prepay receive an additional 100 MB of data and those on postpay an additional 200 MB of data for the first three months. Customers activating the Full 250 plan receive 200MB and 400MB on prepay and postpay respectively for the first three months.

About Telefonica Digital

Telefónica Digital is a global business division of Telefónica. Its mission is to seize the opportunities within the digital world and deliver new growth for Telefónica through research & development, venture capital, global partnerships and digital services such as cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and eHealth. It is also driving innovation in over the top communications under a new umbrella brand called TU and in Big Data through Telefónica Dynamic Insights.

Telefónica Digital will deliver these new products and services to Telefónica’s 316 million customers as well as entering new markets. It is headquartered in London with regional centres in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, Spain and Tel Aviv. Axismed, Eleven Paths, giffgaff, Jajah, Media Networks Latin America and Terra are all managed under the Telefónica Digital umbrella.

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