Vendors support GSM450 for emerging markets

Nokia and Ericsson had originally planned to deploy GSM services in the 450MHz band as an upgrade path for existing analogue NMT-450 operators - but withdrew citing low demand.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  October 12, 2005

Nokia and Ericsson have announced their support of the development of GSM equipment in the 450MHz frequency band, stating that they view GSM450 frequency as a viable solution in providing affordable handsets and mobile voice-centred services to new growth areas with a low teledensity. The vendors had originally planned to deploy GSM services in the 450MHz band as an upgrade path for existing analogue NMT-450 operators - but withdrew citing low demand. The 450MHz spectrum band is already licensed in a number of Central and Eastern European countries, and the region continues to be a hotbed for the deployment of digital 450MHz technologies. A number of operators have launched commercial CDMA450 networks, though GSM450 is yet to be offered as a commercial service. "Nokia believes that reducing the total cost of ownership for both affordable handsets and mobile voice services are key when it comes to reaching the next billion consumers in new growth markets," says Søren Petersen, senior vice president, Nokia mobile phones. "The GSM450 frequency can provide a way of giving consumers and operators a choice in taking full advantage of the affordability of GSM technology." Underlying Nokia’s commitment to the development of telecoms in emerging markets, the vendor recently opened its new regional headquarters at Dubai Internet City that will provide a base for senior Nokia staff operating in Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nokia is already present in nine countries in the region, with plans to enter new countries during the coming months. “In the Middle East and Africa we are committed to serving eight different local languages through technical support and tailoring our products," says Nokia CEO and chairman Jorma Ollila. The vendor expects well over 200 million mobile handsets to be shipped into the Middle East and Africa region during the course of 2005.

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