LG secures huge deal for low-cost 3G phones

07 Feb 2007

LG has won a contest organized by the GSM Association to produce a low-cost handset for 3G mobile phone networks, a source close to the contest, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report said the winner of the contest, which is expected to receive orders for several millions of these handsets by as much as a dozen mobile carriers, will officially be announced next week at the 3GSM mobile communications trade show in Barcelona.

The handset will cost around $100, breaking through an important price barrier which is expected to boost sales of 3G phones, the report said.

The Reuters report said operators which participated in the selection of the winning handset include Cingular, Globe Telecom, Hutchison 3G, KTF, MTN, Orange, Smart, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

These operators together have 620 million subscribers, the GSM Association said in a statement in October.

The handset will be available to all members of the GSMA, which is most of the carriers around the world, the report said.

LG, the world's No. 5 mobile phone maker trailing Nokia , Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, has been trying to regain its share in the global market after a sluggish year in 2006, the report said.

But it has so far focused on premium models and been careful with low-cost phones.

A spokeswoman for LG Electronics in Seoul declined to comment. A spokesman for GSMA in London, which groups the world's GSM mobile carriers, also declined to comment.

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