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Nokia has pegged Russia, India and Latin America as potential up-and-coming markets for mobile devices and services.

It reckons that investing in these largely untapped markets could help double mobile phone use over the next five years.

Current estimates say that some 1.2 billion people around the world use a mobile phone. By 2008, Nokia calculates that that number could swell to a whopping two billion if investment is focused on these new markets.

In Russia, for example, Nokia believes that mobile phone ownership could increase by 200 per cent by 2008, with more than 60 million people hooked to their mobiles.

At a press conference yesterday - held simultaneously in Moscow and New Delhi - Nokia announced that it planned to introduce a range of consumer mobile phones and business models that would make it cheaper to run a network and own a phone.

In a statement, Jorma Ollila, Nokia's Chairman and CEO, said: "New growth markets will be a key driver of the mobile industry in the coming years.

"There is extraordinary potential in the number of people currently without mobile service. Despite its remarkable success, mobile service still only reaches less than 20 per cent of the world's population. Some four billion people are still without telephone service of any kind,"he said. ®

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