Feeds

Voda goes ultra-cheap with handsets for the developing world

Easy to use

The Power of One Infographic

MWC In rich countries, the consumer buzz around mobile phones is all about iPhones and data and internet. But for cellcos, rich countries equal saturated markets, fierce competition and stand-still sales. They rely on the developing world for just about all their growth.

That means cheap phones, cheap enough pre-paid plans and good enough reception, especially in countries with large populations of rural poor, who typically lack access to landlines, even if they have the means to pay for the service.

Vodafone 250

Hence initiatives such as Vodafone's, which today launches two own-name handsets sourced from TCL, the Vodafone 150 and Vodafone 250, in India, Turkey, Qatar and seven African countries. They retail at under $15 and $20, unsubsidised - The 250 costs more because it has a slightly bigger, colour screen and supports FM radio.

As well as voice and text, the phones support mobile payments, a fast growing service in emerging markets, according to Vodafone, which claims 11 million registered customers for its money transfer and bill payments facility.

In its press release, Vodafone trumpets the potential of the mobile phone as a "powerful social enabler" and it says the "lives of people who use these phones... will be changed and improved as they become part of the mobile society". A little overblown, perhaps, but Vodafone's drive to make mobile phones affordable for poor people is entirely a good thing.

Vodafone press release

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.