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Saturday, Dec 21, 2002

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LG mulls plant for CDMA handsets

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BULLISH on the growth potential of the telecom sector in the country, the Korean firm LG, is assessing the potential to start a manufacturing base in the country.

The company plans to initiate a $5-million marketing campaign to reach out its range of mobile handsets across 100 cities by early next year. Mr J.G. Ham, Vice-President, Overseas Marketing, Mobile Handsets Company, LG Electronics Inc, said that the telecom sector in the country is looking up despite the temporary issues concerning the CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) limited mobility services.

"With the demand set to go up rapidly, both in CDMA and GSM, we are discussing within the company to consider the option to establish a mobile handset-manufacturing base in the country. A decision on this will be taken considering various options as the volumes are set to go up," he said.

LG Electronics is also assessing the potential of bringing its range of GSM handsets as the demand for these is also set to go up with the roll out of services into new regions across the country, he said addressing a press conference.

The Korean company, which has recently launched its range of CDMA handsets in New Delhi, has bagged a major order of $100 million from Reliance Infocomm and was in parleys with several telecom operators including BSNL, MTNL and Tata Teleservices for supply of handsets.

The Supreme Court has also taken a stand that the technology benefits the general public and also supported creation of a level playing field. Whatever the end result, its ruling favours the technology to help general public. This indicates that CDMA technology was here to stay, he said.

Being a pioneer in the CDMA technology, LG has also supplied a range of telecom equipment in the Indian market and has bagged some major projects from telecom operators, Mr Ham said.

"For LG, India is a key market and we are confident that our handsets will appeal to the customers right from the latest technology that has gone into their development, attractive features, functionality and sleek designs. All the handsets launched in the country are on advanced 3G-1x platform," he said.

A recent survey undertaken by the company had indicated that all mobile telephone users who have been using GSM phones over the last two years or so have changed quite a few sets.

"Apart from the functional aspect, a good handset is a lifestyle statement. We plan to build on this concept with an aggressive marketing plan," he said.

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