Reliance Infocomm To Set Up Plant For CDMA Handsets

Mumbai: | Updated: Dec 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Even as it has finalised a mega deal to import six million code division multiple access (CDMA) handsets for its Wireless in Local Loop (limited mobility) initiative, Reliance Infocomm is also putting in place a Rs 50-60 crore plant in Bhuj, Gujarat, to manufacture its own CDMA handsets.

Confirming this to eFE, sources said the handsets would be affordable and targeted at the masses.

Were doing this as part of a backward integration initiative for our CDMA rollout, the sources said.

On the other hand, as part of the deal, the six million handsets being imported from LG and Samsung of Korea would be backed by a massive promotional campaign to increase awareness about their features and availability.

An estimated Rs 150 crore is being talked about as the figure to be spent on such marketing efforts.

Major features of the handsets include short messaging service (SMS) in over 20 languages and streaming video facilities enabling users to even watch television channels on their handsets and several other features, many of which would be unveiled at the launch of the service on December 27.

The basic feature is, the user would be able to use the handset for a wide variety of uses, all at 20 paise per minute, sources familiar with the rollout said.

The mega rollout is to be aided by a massive door-to-door selling campaign, which would include agents and employees of the Reliance group.

The earlier plan, to hire dealers for the purpose, has now been junked in favour of direct marketing which the group feels would be more useful and cost-effective, particularly keeping in mind the nature of the product and the target audience.

The Reliance WLL brand is called Reliance India Mobile, and has the catchline Kar Lo Duniya Mutthi Mein (Get the world in your hand). In the first phase of the rollout, the Reliance CDMA service will reach 104 cities, and will be available in as many as 600 cities by February-March next year.

From April 2003 onwards, Reliance Infocomm would concentrate on its fixed line service, which would also have the Reliance prefix.