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Vodafone signs deal with Opera Mini: Fandom of the Opera

Vodafone has inked a deal to develop a custom version of Opera Mini, to be rolled out on cheaper handsets so even the poor and needy can benefit from lightning-fast Web browsing

Vodafone has signed a deal with the makers of our favourite mobile browser, Opera Mini, to develop a 'custom-made version' for cheaper mobile phones.

Owners of 'low and mid-priced handsets' will benefit from the Java-based Opera experience, browsing the full Web via an easy zoom function and simple icons. Some phones may even display video. In each country, Vodafone is likely to embed the software on its handsets, or will encourage customers to download it.

Vodafone and Opera have their sights set on developing countries, where the mobile browser may be customers' first experience of the Internet. Trials have taken place in Egypt, and an emphasis has been placed on compression of Web pages, so areas with lower network speeds still get reasonably fast browsing.

As far back as 2007, we were hailing Opera Mini as one of the best mobile browsers ever made, while not so long ago Nate recommended it to everyone. A Nate at the Opera, if you will...