Speaking to The Financial Express, ARM Ltd managing director Brigadier Krishna Nandan said that the company has won the tender floated by BSNL recently for the supply of low-cost CDMA devices (both mobile and fixed wireless terminals) amidst stiff competition.
The company would supply over 2,00,000 devices to the BSNL in the ratio of 80:20 (mobile handsets and fixed wireless terminals (FWT), which is worth close to Rs 150 crore, Mr Nandan said.
The company has already started trial processing and would begin full-fledged assembling at its factory near Hyderabad
from February. The company is expected to deliver the entire requirement in the next four to six months’ time, he said.
Though the company has decided to go initially in the form of SKD route, however, at a later stage would adopt CKD basis, Mr Nandan said.
While refused to disclose the exact price of a mobile handset, Mr Nandan, however, said that it would be priced comparatively lower than the present market price keeping in mind the BSNL’s decision to offer at much lower cost. “It could be in the range between Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000,” he hinted at.
These handsets will have all the basic features and would be black in colour. Since the BSNL’s WiLL service has been targeted at common public, the handset/s will have no fancy features, he said.
The company is also looking at other private operators in the country for a possible tie-up to offer the CDMA handsets at a competitive price, he said.
Meanwhile, ARM has recently entered into an alliance with the US-based Iospan to introduce fixed broadband wireless access (FBWA) technology in the Indian market. Both the companies would explore the market and offer the technology to SMEs, he said.
As part of this agreement, both the companies would work in joint development of AirBurst compatible broadband wireless access system and envisages ARM to manufacture Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) at its Hyderabad plant, he said.