Siemens To Focus On GSM Market In India

Mumbai: | Updated: Sep 26 2003, 05:30am hrs
Siemens is looking to acquire a 15 per cent share in the mobile handset market by May next year. The company has identified India as its No 1 focus market.

According to Siemens executive vice-president (mobile phones division) Peter Gartenberg, the way forward for the company would clearly centre around the GSM (global system for mobile communications) category. The world is clearly moving towards GSM. Besides, India is the last of the high volume and high growth markets, Mr Gartenberg said.

Siemens expects that the Indian market will grow at about 10 million handsets each year. In that context, we should be able to sell around 1.5 million handsets, said Mr Gartenberg.

The company had launched its sub-Rs 5,000 models in May this year.

For a long time, the Indian mobile handset industry has been characterised by a grey market. With handset prices crashing, the price differential between the grey and the regular market has reduced significantly.

We will be offering more high-end features at the entry-level price point, said Mr Gartenberg.

He added that 70 per cent of Siemens targeted customers is expected to belong to the entry-level price point category.

Among the prominent players in the Indian GSM handsets market are Nokia, Motorola and SonyEricsson. As part of its strategy, Siemens will increase its presence from about 5500 retail outlets to over 6,000 in the next six months.

When queried on the possibility of looking at the CDMA market, Mr Gartenberg ruled it out and said the companys plans would be around pure GSM and next generation GSM.

At this stage, the Indian cellular market has over 17 million subscribers and has been growing at a healthy rate. When asked if Siemens was looking at India being a manufacturing base for GSM handsets, Mr Gartenberg explained that the market would have to be 10 million handsets per brand before it could be considered.