Motorola selected to supply affordable and robust handsets for second phase of programme to ‘connect the unconnected’
Singapore 27th September 2005: The mobile industry has driven the wholesale cost of mobile phones to below US$30 as part of the GSM Association (GSMA) programme to make mobile telephony affordable for people in developing countries.
“To get below US$30 per handset is a milestone achievement,” said Craig Ehrlich, Chairman of the GSMA, the global trade association for the world’s GSM mobile operators. “Today’s news cements the formation of a whole new market segment for the mobile industry and will bring the benefits of mobile communications to a huge swathe of people in developing countries.”
At the 3GSM World Congress in Singapore, Rob Conway, Chief Executive and board member of the GSMA, announced today that Motorola has been selected to supply the phase-two handset. “Motorola won thanks to a combination of a portfolio starting from sub-US$30, together with other key factors such as after-sales support, local service, brand presence and a choice of low-cost handset models including an exclusive product, the C113a for this programme,” said Conway.
The 10 operators supporting the second phase of the GSMA’s Emerging Market Handset programme expect to order about 6 million of these low-cost handsets from Motorola. The GSMA programme, which is chaired by Erik Aas, the Chief Executive of GrameenPhone Ltd. of Bangladesh, is supported by some of the leading operators in emerging markets – AIS, Bharti, BPL, Globe Telecom, Hutchison Essar, IDEA Cellular, MTN Group, Orascom Telecom, Telenor and Vodacom.
“The startup price is the single most important criteria for connecting the unconnected in emerging markets. The GSMA Emerging Market Handset initiative is a major step towards reducing the startup price, and will fuel significant economic growth, as well as major social changes, when so many new people can communicate directly from their home or on the move. “
Erik Aas, CEO of GrameenPhone.