GSMA wants 3G for developing countries

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|06.15.06

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GSMA wants 3G for developing countries
Sure, the OLPC project's connectivity options are all well and good with the promise of WiFi and mesh networking, but how's about tethering that $100 $130 laptop up to some high-speed WWAN action? The GSM Association has announced its "3G for all" initiative to bring UMTS access well beyond its current user base of 72 million people, most of whom reside in industrialized nations. Although OLPC is not specifically mentioned, the synergy is pretty obvious -- we suspect these laptops could find themselves in a few places where WiFi is hard to come by. Besides challenging carriers to build out the network, GSMA is asking manufacturers to develop 3G handsets with the needs of emerging markets in mind, something they've done in the past for 2G handsets with the goal of mass production at the $30 price point. UMTS has a long way to go in some industrialized nations before we see this all happening, but dare to dream, guys -- we're all about $130 laptops tethered to $30 3G-capable phones.
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