Nokia and Ericsson both committed on Tuesday to help the spread of GSM in the 450 megahertz band, which would offer operators of the worldwide wireless technology a way to cover rural areas in a less expensive manner.
The band was once used for analog cell phones, a service that has since been dropped by most carriers.
Using the band for GSM service would mean providers would be able to build less base stations than with current technology, which uses the 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands.
“GSM 450 will particularly help to bring mobile services to remote areas previously considered not feasible to cover,” Ericsson said in a statement.
Nokia seemed to agree with Ericsson, adding, “the GSM 450 frequency can provide a way of giving consumers and operators a choice in taking full advantage of the affordability of GSM technology.”
The company also said this could spur a mobile landscape where companies provide cellular service for as little as $5 per month and still be able to profit from such an offering.
This would lead to mobile growth in price-sensitive markets, Nokia said. However, before the technology becomes feasible, operators themselves must sign on to the technology.
As of Tuesday, only one out of about 680 networks that are members of the GSM Association has a license for GSM 450, that organization said.