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.