Thursday, April 07, 2005

Nokia to set up mobile handset plant near Chennai

Nokia to set up handset plant near Chennai

India has over 50 million mobile users. It is only now that a manufacturing set up is coming up in India. This means that well over 60 million mobile handsets have been imported to India (possibly even 75 million) since India went mobile in the early 1990s.

Indians have been paying more for the mobile phones because of customs duties and the costs of import. This has resulted in a grey market transaction offering entry level new handsets at as low as Rs. 2,000.

Besides the 2,000 direct jobs and 6,000 indirect jobs promised, the real value of the plant will be the technical know-how that will spread to the top level electronic engineers the firm will hire from India.

India will need a variety of mobile devices, doing much more than handling GSM or CDMA calls. Better data handling, local language modifications, increased data storage, ability to play MP3 or other audio formats, reasonable degree of computing etc. will all be required. While most of the cutting edge technology will still happen elsewhere, there may be higher degrees of Indianised development in India. As a starter, the phones manufactured in India may be made Unicode character enabled and UTF-8 compatible. This will allow for optional font fownload allowing users to handle Indian language text messaging or content browsing.

That is the next phase of growth in the mobile space.

3 comments:

  1. I agree with you in terms of employment & techinical know-how. However, i strongly believe, that Indian Mobile market will go in the direction of what NTT-DoCoMo did in Japan. It's time now, that each zone will cater to the local market, providing more local information in their local language. I am unsure about the technical capabilities of GSM to do that. On the contrary, CDMA has a vast potential in customising information with local language. The next phase of growth will allow the mobile user to use his mobile phones in lieu of credit cards or other plastic money. With a mobile phone, people should be in a position to grab a Pepsi, book a movie ticket, Buy things in footworld, pay bills and of course, browse the web.

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  2. Badri,

    I agree with your view that Nokia in Chennai can bring down the cost and provide 8,000 jobs . I am skeptical of the manufacturing facilities which we can provide. For example to manufacture the cell phone chip we need to have a fabrication unit which should be free from any sorts of environmental disturbances and should provide a high yield .

    Balachandar Raghavan

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  3. Badri,

    I agree with your view that Nokia in Chennai can bring down the cost and provide 8,000 jobs . I am skeptical of the manufacturing facilities which we can provide. For example to manufacture the cell phone chip we need to have a fabrication unit which should be free from any sorts of environmental disturbances and should provide a high yield .

    Balachandar Raghavan

    ReplyDelete