Vodafone has announced its most affordable ultra low cost handsets to date, said to be "intended to give millions of people in emerging markets the opportunity to share in the benefits of mobile technology for the first time".

Launching in India, Turkey and eight markets in Africa - The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Qatar, South Africa and Tanzania - Vodafone says in markets such as these the mobile phone is a "powerful social enabler".

The basic Vodafone 150 and colour-screen Vodafone 250 offer voice and SMS services, as well as support for mobile payment services.

The Vodafone 150 will retail unsubsidised at below $15 and the Vodafone 250 will retail unsubsidised at below $20, says Vodafone, depending on the local market.