Nokia launching low-cost GSM network in India

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IndiaNokia’s hitting up India again, having won a contract to build a greenfield GSM network out of Kolkata under their Aircel brand. Greenfield networks float around the 1800MHz band, and sport some pretty interesting possibilities with such low overhead.

A complete green-field GSM deployment can be profitable with as little as US$5 average monthly revenue per user (ARPU). And costs are falling, of course. In 2004, new mobile phones were available for as little as $50 on the black market, i.e. that’s the selling price w/o taxes, and used phones for $20. Now a … GSM Association initiative promises to drive new handset costs below $30.

Pair this off with Nokia’s extensive low-lend line of devices, and it’s looking like RIM’s meager push into India won’t get too far.