Motorola has been chosen to supply the first six million cut-price handsets to poorer countries as part of the mobile industry's GSM Association (GSMA) Emerging Market Handset (EMH) programme.
As part of the multimillion-pound deal Motorola will offer a family of products built on its new low-cost C114 platform, which is optimised for the durability, long talk time and design preferences of emerging markets.
The deal aims to bridge the mobile digital divide in countries such as India, the Philippines, Indonesia and Turkey, said the GSMA.
Motorola will start delivering the phones during the second quarter of 2005 for less than £23 a handset and is committed to eventually delivering handsets for less than £17.
The EMH programme could expand to 100 million new mobile connections a year, said the GSMA.
It estimates that despite 80% of the world’s population having wireless access, only 25% are able to use it, with cost identified as the single biggest barrier to mobile communications usage in emerging markets.