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Qualcomm's Hind foresees boom in Indian telecom sector

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SINGAPORE: India has come to the forefront of the global telecom map what with the prying open of the sector. Will it continue to hold its own in the near future as neighbouring rival China ups the ante in the telecom sweepstakes? Qualcomm China vice-president and general manager David Hind believes it will.

Speaking at CommunicAsia in Singapore Hind said that the various countries are going to huddle around their core competencies.

"A lot of the telecom code is written in Hyderabad," he said. "That is only going to increase. Indians have a good command over English, they are willing to work hard, they are accommodating."

Hind is of the view that the time is not far when more mobile handset manufacturers will start making handsets in India. "Today Reliance is a potent force in telecoms. If Reliance asks a mobile maker to shift production to India, it'll have to. Today India and China are seeing offtake of close to six million handsets a month. Those are the figures that makers see in a quarter," he says.

Hind believes that the time is not very far when a Chinese company will come out from nowhere to become one of the top five mobile makers globally. "The Koreans are in for a surprise," he said.

His view is that China will corner close to 75 per cent of global handset manufacturing by 2006. "It already has a 25 per cent share today. And that is going to explode," he said.

Hind highlighted the fact that the Koreans are not going to be left behind. "Don't be surprised if the Koreans fill the slot in the UMTS or WCDMA handsets and repeat what they did in CDMA," he pointed out.

Hind said that the mobile brand is going to cease to be important. "Carriers will force manufacturers to brand the phones with their own brands. It's already happening in Europe. A Nokia is not so important, a Vodafone is because it says it know the end consumer very well, more than the maker."

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