Spice to launch $20 'phone for the people' in India

Hot on the heels of Tata's people's car and the people's laptop, comes the people's phone.

The $20 (roughly £10) product will be unveiled tomorrow at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress – the world's biggest telecoms conference,

The handset, which includes a Braille version, is to be launched in India by Spice, the $2bn Bombay-listed telecoms giant.

BK Modi, chairman of Spice, said: "The People's Phone is a world first. It will be available to the consumer for under $20, making it accessible to a vast number of people who currently cannot afford the expense of a mobile handset."

The group is also set to reveal the world's first phone to play films on a disc.

Last month Spice revealed plans to launch a pilot scheme in India which will allow mobile users to make free phone calls as long as they are prepared to listen to a short advertising jingle. The strategy is intended to break the stranglehold on the market enjoyed by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar.

A year ago Vodafone bought a stake in Hutchison Essar for £5.7bn, giving it a 67 per cent stake. Vodafone's chairman, Sir John Bond, said then that India was "destined to become one of the largest and most important mobile markets in the world".

The People's Phone will be just one of several launches at this week's Barcelona conference.

Next-generation handsets and wireless technology are once again set to dominate the conference, which will be heavily scrutinised amid concerns of a global consumer slowdown.

Analysts at investment house Lazard said last week: "With the growing concern about the US consumer, we are looking for indications of whether this is affecting handset sales."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate