Handset manufacture gets a shot

Thomas K. Thomas

New Delhi, Aug. 22

In a bid to address the need for cheaper CDMA handsets, Qualcomm Inc has begun negotiations with Indian companies to transfer licence for manufacturing handsets in the country.

The company is also betting big on its single chip solutions to bring down the handset costs. First CDMA handsets based on Qualcomm's single chip solution will be launched in India by the fourth quarter of the current year.

Mr Vishal Gupta, Director, Product Technologies Qualcomm India told

Business Line

that , "Existing CDMA handsets manufacturers such as the ZTEs and Huawei have already charted out their own strategy which may or may not have manufacturing plans in India. So we are looking at bringing up an Indian company to manufacture CDMA handsets which can grow as big as a Samsung or an LG."

It did not divulge the names of the companies with whom the talks are going on.

Betting on single chip

On the single chip solution, Qualcomm is aiming to give handset manufacturers the flexibility to bring out products according to the needs of the market.

India will be get the first handset based on Qualcomm's single chipset. "The single chipset will enable handset manufacturers to address the needs of the market at the low end as well as those at the high end. This adds to the overall CDMA ecosystem in giving the manufacturers a platform around which they can build their products," said Mr Brian Rodrigues, Senior Director, Product Management Qualcomm Inc.

More features

Mr Gupta said that while these solutions will enable cheaper handsets, the company was aiming to offer more features to the consumers.

"Price is not the only thing which a consumer is looking for. We believe that features and data capability is an important aspect of being mobile. So while we will be competitive with GSM on price points we are packing in more features," he said.

Qualcomm is also expanding its global R&D out of India. The company had recently opened a certificate lab in Hyderabad, which has brought down the cost of testing a product by CDMA manufacturers.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 23, 2006)
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