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Nokia lets parents filter out mobile smut

Phone maker debuts software that gives parents more control over content that children access on cellular devices.

Mobile
Nokia on Wednesday announced plans for new software that will allow customers to have more control over access to mobile content.

The company said the product allows mobile service operators to offer control features that are based on subscriber recognition and user information. For instance, parents can indicate service categories to be barred in order to prevent their children from visiting questionable Web sites.

The product is likely to be available during the last quarter of this year, the company said. Pricing information was not released.

Nokia's new software signals that carriers are searching for better ways to help parents filter out inappropriate content.

For years, this was achieved by a "walled garden" approach in which carriers would make available sometimes thousands of Web sites at a time for download. To get to questionable sites, dialers had to go through the arduous exercise of entering a URL onto a phone.

But this method is no longer as effective, because cell phone manufacturers are making it much easier to input data. Also, with advances in multimedia capabilities, many more Web sites can be downloaded.

"With the increasing amount of new mobile-content services, there are inevitably services and sites (to) which not everyone would want access. Hence, the ability to safely and securely control access to these sites is important for both operators and their subscribers, and our solution allows just that," Nokia Vice President Olli Oittinen said in a statement.

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