We have known of MediaTek's intentions to get their low-cost CPUs into more and more Android handsets for a while now, but today's announcement that they have officially joined the Google-led Open Handset Alliance signals that they are committed more than ever to the idea. In the past, patent issues with Qualcomm prevented MediaTek from doing much business outside of mainland China, a but a cross-licensing agreement signed last November and their new involvement in the OHA could see the inclusion of their system-on-a-chip processors in low-cost Android phones around the world.
The benefit of joining the Open Handset Alliance is that MediaTek now has access to official releases of Android drivers and optimizations, not to mention the added benefit of being closely tied to over 71 companies in the mobile industry, greatly increasing their chances of finding an outlet to pump their chipsets through on the way to Android-based phones. This covers everything from the big-name OEMs to smaller operations based of China. With the number of Android phones seeing a release increasing by what seems like tenfold every day, the addition of MediaTek as an OHA member will surely do little to stem the tide of new devices, which isn't a bad thing by any means.