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Qualcomm expects shipments of CDMA handsets to India to top 13-m target

Our Bureau

New Delhi , March 17

QUALCOMM Inc, the world's second largest maker of wireless telephone chips, on Wednesday said that it expects shipments of CDMA (code division multiple access) handsets to India to exceed 13 million by September 2004.

"We had predicted 13 million handsets to be shipped to India in the financial year ending September. Globally, we expect 142 million handsets will be shipped during the year," according to Mr Paul Jacobs, Group President of Qualcomm.

The operators — Reliance Infocomm Ltd and Tata Teleservices Ltd — believe that the projection of 13 million handsets can even be exceeded, given the market conditions, Mr Jacobs told presspersons on the sidelights of the Convergence India event here.

The number of subscribers using CDMA handsets in India had touched 6.75 million by February.

Qualcomm is also considering setting up a software development and chip designing facility in the country. The proposed facility would employ over 100 professionals, Mr Jacobs said.

"We are considering it... We are at an advanced stage of decision... We should be making an announcement towards next year," he said, adding the investment to be made in India will be "significant".

Mr Jacobs, however, denied earlier reports that Qualcomm was considering picking up an equity stake in Reliance Infocomm.

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