Fri, Oct 10, 2003 - Page 11 News List

DBTEL targets India's new mobile phone market

BLOOMBERG

Taiwanese mobile-phone maker DBTEL Inc (大霸電子) wants 20 percent of the market for new mobile phones in India by the end of next year. It plans to start selling its mobile phones in the country next month.

DBTEL will introduce as many as 11 models based on the global system for mobile communications, or GSM, technology with prices from 4,500 rupees (US$100) to 15,000 rupees, said Lewis Tu, director of sales, at a New Delhi press briefing yesterday.

"We've been studying the market for a year," Tu said. "This is the right time to enter this potentially huge market."

India's mobile-phone users are surging because of price cuts spur-red by competition and regulatory action. That is prompting companies such as DBTEL and China's Ningbo Bird Co (波導) to start operations in India.

Established players such as Nokia Oyj are introducing models with basic features and low prices to compete with the new entrants and maintain market share.

Users of GSM networks more than doubled to 18.3 million as of Sept. 30 from the same date a year earlier, according to the Cellular Operators Association of India.

DBTEL started out producing mobile phones for Motorola as well as cordless phones for AT&T and Radio Shack in the US.

DBTEL expects to sell 6 million phones worldwide this year and about 8 million next year, Tu said. He estimates India will add 20 million new users next year.

At present DBTEL's biggest market is China. It generated more than 60 percent of its revenue from handsets sold in China last year.

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