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ZTE's Cheap Handset Haven

12:10 PM -- This morning we offered up this Telecom Market Spotlight: Africa, a look at how the nature of mobile growth in Africa is changing as some parts of the continent become saturated and mobile data use increases all around.

For a more detailed look at Africa's handset market, which we touched on briefly in yesterday's coverage of ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763)'s earnings, have a look at Pyramid Research 's "Africa & Middle East Telecom Insider" by Badii Kechiche.

In that report, Kechiche details how operator-vendor relationships are springing up to address the market for low-cost handsets. Sure, the margins aren't great, but the volume and market share gains are helping out vendors like ZTE.

Kechiche writes: "These initiatives are presenting opportunities for second- and third-tier manufacturers with great success. ZTE, a low-cost Chinese manufacturer, is planning to ship a total of 60m new handsets in 2009, challenging Motorola for the fifth spot among global handset manufacturers."

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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