Oslo orders 3,000 Windows Phone handsets

Oslo orders 3,000 Windows Phone handsets

Summary: Wanted by Norwegian capital: thousands of Microsoft-powered devices. Long battery life, big screen required.


The City of Oslo has recently published an invitation to tender for a general agreement for deliveries of 3,000 smartphones, for the agency that in charge of care of the elderly. Just one snag — all 3,000 have to be Windows Phone devices.

The specifications set out in the invitation to tender, cover much of what you'd expect to see in any call for smartphone bids, but one issue stands out: when it comes to the operating system the devices use, Microsoft Windows Phone 8 is mandatory.

The reason for this somewhat exotic demand is the back-office services the nurses use while providing at-home nursing services to the elderly. The City of Oslo is using the casework and filing system Gerica, developed by the Finnish consulting company Tieto. Tieto has developed just one client interface smartphone app for Gerica, which is for Windows Phone. As a result, the city administration has got no alternatives when it comes to platform choice for the new smartphones.

Big screen, high performance

The specification also reveals that Oslo wants a high-performance mobile: the minimum screen size and resolution is four-inches with a 800x480 resolution. In addition, the invitation to tender specifies that a larger screen and higher resolution will carry greater weight when the tenders are being evaluated.

The CPU has to offer a minimum 1GHz clock speed- again, a higher spec will yield a better score in the evaluation while the devices' battery life needs to be substantial – the specification demands a minimum of eight hours of "extensive use".

Interestingly enough, the tender does not say 4G LTE support is mandatory, even though the city has reasonable 4G coverage – instead, only tri-band 3G and EDGE support are listed as mandatory. Other interesting requirments in the specification are that the devices must come with GPS and RFID/NFC onboard.

A bigger deal

Even though a delivery of 3,000 phones is a significant contract in Norway by itself, it may turn into a bigger order for the company winning the contract. As of now, the tender just covers nursing staff working in people's homes, but the tender text also states it may "expand to cover other departments in the City of Oslo" and end up covering those working in nursing homes.

The municipality of Oslo is one of the country's largest employers, with about 43,000 employees, many of these in the health care services.

Should the Windows Phone devices end up being Nokia handsets – quite possible, given that four in five devices running the OS are made by Nokia – it would be one of the company's largest enterprise deals to date, following Delta Airlines decision in August to equip 18,000 flight attendants with Lumia handsets.

Further reading

Topics: Windows Phone, Government, Mobility, EU

Stig Øyvann

About Stig Øyvann

Stig spent some fifteen years working in the IT industry before upgrading to becoming a freelance technology writer. Mostly he writes for business IT magazines, but sometimes he turns his hand to consumer-oriented articles too. "A brand new digital camera is fun, but it’s a bulletproof server that makes the world go round" is Stig's point of view.

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  • Nothing exotic about it. Why wouldn't you want the best os?

    You wouldn't want to be saddled with a crap insecure os riddled with malware. They should have specified Nokia hardware too. No sense getting stuck with some junk Samsung or LG or Moto hardware or something.
    Johnny Vegas
  • Imagine the rants from microsoft supporters in here

    If the only client option had been an Android or an iOS device...

    For the record: In my opinion, vendor lock-in is a bad thing, no matter who the vendor is.
    • Tell it to Tieto...

      Took just minutes of research to discover that Tieto is a 50yr old company with 16,000+ employees and 1.8b EUR net sales operating in 20 countries. They advertise Google/Open Source solutions in addition to Microsoft, so would appear they have the experience and expertise to develop across multiple platforms. I won't speculate on their reasons for selecting Windows, but to suggest it was due to "lock-in" seems highly suspect.
  • Microsoft says:

    "Thank you, Tieto!"
    • hmm

      I wonder how much Tieto is getting kickback from MS. Designing interface for only one particular phone which is currently on the third place is very fishy

      Having said that, a fair competition is a good thing
      • Not suspucious

        I hear they are developing a Blackberry version.
  • Oslo orders 3,000 Windows Phone handsets

    More and more people are turning to the brilliance of Microsoft Windows Phone. Their numbers just keep climbing higher and higher.
    • "Their numbers just keep climbing higher and higher."

      Yeparoonie. This order for 3K units should more than double the number of Windows Phones in the wild, shouldn't it?
    • 3,000?

      3,000 is an achievement? Look at the fanboys go wild. You can hear the sound of one hand clapping.
      • 3000?

        Maybe the number is not as important as the fact that they chose Windows Phone over Android and iPhone? Delta Airlines just did the same thing and chose to order 19,000 Windows Phones. They could have gone Android or iPhone but didn't. My point is that it's not the number of phones but the choice of phone that is important. Surely these companies looked at all options before choosing right?
        • Choice of few

          Delta's example demonstrates that this was not the choice of 19,000 individuals but the choice of a handful of suits. Give those end users a choice and see how many of them choose Windows phones.
  • The End of BYOD

    This marks the end of BYOD in the smartphone game. If it ain't consumer driven, Apple and Android will fail. Because the obvious choice for intelligent people is Windows Phone.
    • "...the obvious choice for intelligent people is Windows Phone."

      And the obvious choice for dumb people is Windows 8. Kinda evens things out, I guess.
  • Great, they will not be disappointed!!!

    Nokia offers a lot of options satisfying the technical requirements and at a very good price!!! Good for them!

    On the other hand, HTC WP phones are very good as well. Samsung has good devices but has not delivered anything new on designs ... yet!!!
  • Caritas

    The local home nursing service here is also using Windows Phone 8 for their staff, because the software they use to register their home visits also only has a WP app.
  • Mine's better. No, mine's better. Fanboi. I know you are but what am I?

    Get a life, people.