Vetelca to launch mobile phones in May

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Venezuela's state-owned mobile telephone factory Venezolana de Telecomunicaciones (Vetelca) expects its first mobile phones to be commercially available in May, the government said.

President Hugo Chávez said that Vetelca's "El Vergatario" model phone will cost 30 bolívares fuertes (US$14) and will be added to state-owned mobile phone operator Movilnet's commercial offering.

The mobile phone will be the cheapest such device on the market, Movilnet president Jacqueline Faría said.

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Vetelca is a joint venture between Venezuela's government and Chinese company ZTE.

The facility is expected to have the capacity to produce 1mn GSM and CDMA handsets per year.

The government is also working on a project, in association with Chinese company Huawei, to build another mobile phone factory. According to reports, this factory will have an annual production capacity of 2mn mobile devices.