Siemens To Expand Bangalore Centre

New Delhi: | Updated: May 22 2003, 05:30am hrs
In a bid to enhance its presence in the Indian market and capitalise on local software skills, German telecom major Siemens has announced the launch of its latest range of mobile handsets. The company has also decided to expand its Indian software development centre in Bangalore.

At a media conference in New Delhi on Wednesday, a Siemens mobile group board member Lothar Pauly said, We have been testing the Indian market with our handsets so far. With the launch of six new mobile phones, Siemens plans to develop India as its second most important market in Asia, after China, within the next few years.

The research and development site in Bangalore was given the global lead for the development of GSM and 3G network software. For that reason, the number of engineers in the centre will be increased from the existing 400 to 500 by the end of this calender year, he said, adding that some development work that is currently being done at the companys Munich centre is also being relocated to India.

The six Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) phones (Siemens operates only in the GSM technology market) launched by the company in India include entry level A55 besides others such as SL55, S55, CL50, M55 and SX1. Mr Pauly, however, declined to disclose the price of the handsets saying that the company will disclose the price tag at an appropriate time. While a couple of models will be available in India immediately, some other models will be launched during the next two months along with the worldwide launch, he said, adding that the existing Siemens handset of 45 series, available in the market, will be gradually phased out.

The company has engaged Tech Pacific, a distribution company operating in the IT and telecom market, for the nationwide rollout of its phones in India. Siemens claimed that the handsets would be available across 2,000 retail outlets within the next few days.

Siemens already has a strong presence in the GSM telecom infrastructure and equipment market in India. The company claims to have customers such as Bharti, Hutchison-Essar and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) among others. We will continue to consolidate our infrastructure business in India besides expanding in the retail handset market, said Mr Pauly.