CDG announces sub $35 3G handsets

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) looks keen to steal some thunder from arch-rival trade body, the GSM Association (GSMA).

The CDG on Wednesday announced that two suppliers are now offering ultra low cost cdma2000 3G devices for less than $35 and another five suppliers are offering cdma2000 handsets for less than $40.

In total, the CDG claims there are more than ten cdma2000 models offered by seven suppliers for less than $40 to service providers within Africa, China, Central Asia, Latin America, South East Asia and India.

The timing of the announcement looks like a swipe at the GSMA, which next week at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, will announce the winner of its 3G for All tender.

3G for All is designed to drive down the cost of WCDMA handsets with the aim of stimulating adoption in both developed and undeveloped markets.

The 3G for All handset should, according to the GSMA, be capable of sophisticated applications “that can support advanced services, such as high speed internet browsing, mobile TV and instant messaging, while costing significantly less than a low-end 3G handset today”.

Sources close to the deal have made it clear to that South Korean vendor LG Electronics is to be announced as the winner of the contract.

Meanwhile, the CDG’s Global Handset Requirements for CDMA (GHRC) initiative expects that in 2007, another 30 ultra low cost cdma2000 mobile handsets will become commercially available from more than fifteen suppliers.

“Our goal is to continue to work with our CDG members to ensure devices are available for all market segments, while sustaining a healthy ecosystem and delivering a broad selection of voice and 3G data services that our CDMA2000 subscribers have come to expect,” said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG.

Earlier this week, the GSMA and the ITU also teamed up to tackle the digital divide.

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