A university in New Jersey is giving every new freshman student starting in September a brand new Lumia 900 phone from Nokia. The move was announced today by Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft and Seton Hall University as part of Seton Hall's Mobile Computing Initiative. All incoming freshmen will receive a Nokia Lumia 900 to "support the university's mission of providing state of the art technology tools to enhance the student experience and prepare students for success in a rapidly changing world."
Seton Hall students already have access to SHUmobile, an application that provides access to campus news feeds, directories and maps and is available on multiple platforms. However, for freshman getting the Lumia 900 when they set foot on campus, this app will come with a custom 'Freshman Experience' component that is exclusive to the Lumia 900. This will provide them with social media integration, direct communication channels with other freshman, academic advisors, housing information and roommates. Nokia Data Gathering will be used to communicate with freshman starting this summer by conducting polls, and providing students with info on preparing for college.
"Nokia has a long history of innovation and their partnership with Microsoft allows us to extend the core academic and community resources of the University into the pocket of our students," noted David Middleton, Executive Director, Center for Mobile Research and Innovation, and Assistant Vice President of Administration at Seton Hall University. "By providing our new incoming students with the Nokia Lumia 900, Seton Hall University can expand our existing Windows services and infrastructure while providing a unique, high quality, dynamic and engaging mobile experience."
Venture Beat reports that the program will also cover prepaid service that will last them through their first semester but no additional details have been provided regarding this aspect of the program. Presumably this is where AT&T comes into the equation but it would be interesting to know the specifics of this deal, such as whether or not the phones will be contract-free.
The is Nokia's flagship Windows Phone device and runs on Windows Phone 7.5. It's similar to the 710 and 800 in appearance but boasts a single-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon CPU, a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED 800 x 480 touchscreen display, 512MB RAM, an 8-megapixel (F2.2, 28mm) camera in the rear with Carl Zeiss optics, and a 1840mAH battery. It's also got support for 4G LTE.