Swedish telecommunications-equipment supplier Ericsson launched an inter-operability testing center for mobile phones in Taiwan yesterday, eying the fast-growing handset manufacturing business in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The Asia-Pacific is getting more and more influential for mobile phone design and manufacturing," Ericsson Taiwan president Mats Bosrup said at a press conference.
Ericsson expects that up to half of all new mobile phones around the globe will be designed or manufactured in the region in the next two years, up from the current 30 percent.
The firm did not reveal the investment amount and manpower in the center, which will be its first one in Asia and the fourth plant worldwide.
"The center aims to provide services mostly to Taiwanese contract handset makers, which make up to 80 models a year for international brands," said Allen You (
Taiwanese handset manufacturers led by BenQ Corp (
Last year, mobile phone sales rose 30 percent to 674 million units from 2003 and are expected to grow another 8 percent to over 730 million units this year, according to market researcher Gartner's latest report released yesterday.
After securing orders from Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), Ericsson is approaching local mobile phone brands BenQ and Inventec Appliances Corp (英華達) to provide services, You said.
In addition to Taiwan, the testing center will provide services for mobile phone manufacturers in China, Korea and Japan on handsets using the GSM system, or GPRS, 3G technologies.
"The center will help save time for our clients by about 30 percent to 40 percent and thereby speed up the time to get their products out on the market," You said.
In the past, it usually took about two months to complete the whole testing procedure, while the life cycle of a mobile phone shrank to around just 4 months, You added.