Mobile operator Vodafone has revealed that it plans to launch two ultra low-cost mobile phones in the developing markets of India and Africa.

The Vodafone 150 and 250 will reportedly retail at $15 (£9.50) and $20 respectively and could help communication between people living in the target markets.

Users will be able to use their handset to conduct mobile banking thanks to services like Africa’s M-Pesa service, send text messages and make voice calls.

“It’s a very important move with so many unbanked customers around the world. But, it is more important that [the phones] are secure for banking and can couple in a reasonable range of messaging capability,” said Mike Short, president of the Mobile Data Association.

He added that most mobile communication needs are actually very similar across the world but the communications choice, language requirements, content, Gross Domestic Product per head and affordability are all variables.

Recent research by IDC found that the worldwide mobile phone market grew by 11.3 per cent in the final quarter of last year.

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