Vodacom SA has this week launched the VF 247 low-cost solar-powered cellphone, developed by ZTE through Vodafone to enable users to charge it using the Solar energy. The phone

The VF 247 , launched in UK in July, has an solar panel intergrated in the body  with built-in Sun Boost software which makes the phone to charge without having it in direct sunlight all the time.The phone charges for an hour or two and if the battery runs on a cloudy day, the phone can be charged using a traditional power charger.

The handset features a high-temperature battery that can safely withstand increased operational temperatures, FM radio and torch. It can be purchased from Vodacom retail outlets in South Africa for around R300 ($44) .
“Cellphones are the primary means of communication for millions of South Africans and thanks to our association with Vodafone we’re able to supply this new solar powered handset which makes it as easy and practical as possible for people to connect,” stated Shameel Joosub, managing director of Vodacom South Africa.

“In many communities, electricity supplies are intermittent or non-existent, but with this new handset people won’t have to worry about when they are next going to be able to charge the battery. It’s so simple and obvious, but the combination of solar power and a low-cost handset will hopefully make a big difference.”

The phone manufactured by Chinise firm ZTE, has been on SALE in Kenya since August 2009.