Vodafone 155, handset for the elderly now on retail

South Africa’s Vodacom, a mobile service provider, has unveiled a handset specially designed for the elderly.

The new handset, named Vodafone 155, is affordable and will help the elderly communicate better, says the company.

It is suitable for customers with low vision, hearing loss or limited dexterity since for the elderly, reading a text from a mobile phone screen can become hard in the event of loss of sight.

‘It’s often challenging for older people to keep up with technology while having to deal with vision, hearing and other health related problems. The Vodafone 155 was designed to help simplify the mobile communication experience for these customers,” Vodacom said in a statement.

The phone has big buttons on the keyboard, enhanced volume that is compatible with hearing aid gadgets. The phone also has noise cancellation technology, to help users block external noise when picking calls.

Phil Patel, Chief Consumer Officer at Vodacom said the company has started providing accessible products and services for people with specific needs in 2004, and since then, it has launched products for the blind, partially sighted, the elderly and hearing impaired customers so that they can also experience the benefits of mobile technology.

It also includes SOS button for emergency calls. “The SOS emergency feature helps to provide peace of mind for customers and users concerned about the wellbeing of their elderly friends or relatives,” Patel said.

The Vodafone 155 will be sold at R399 (US$50) on a prepaid plan. It will however go for R39 (US$5) per month for two years for a post-paid plan.

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