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Nokia has unveiled a knock-off of Opera's Mini phone browser, intended for use on its low-end handsets in emerging markets. It's the first manifestation of Nokia's own ad engine.

Like Opera Mini, Ovi Browser is a Java client that uses a compression proxy to reduce bandwidth. The browser is a crude 0.1 affair, but it's the ad engine that matters more. Nokia acquired Novarra back in April, as we predicted for the contextual mobile advertising and analytics side of the business.

Nokia sounds serious about its infrastructure, at least.

"We’re in the process now of building up our global infrastructure to provide the best possible speed, performance, and reliability for millions of users. We’ll also be adding features to improve local search and personalization and extending support for more local languages and markets," says Nokia here.

Opera won't be sweating this much. Why? Because the Nokia "Beta Labs" operation - notorious for its poorly designed and poorly functioning software - is involved. The unit is based in the village of Fael, in the province of Phale, in the former Kingdom of Westphalia.

Perhaps something as strategically important as developing an ad network should be given to a grown-up. ®

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