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Nokia sees India driving cellular growth

Ratnajyoti Dutta | June 13, 2005 16:06 IST

Identifying India and China as engines of mobile phone growth, Finnish cellular handset maker Nokia on Monday said global mobile phone users would swell to three billion by the turn of this decade.

"By 2010, Nokia estimates the global mobile subscriber base, which hit 1.7 billion (170 crore) at the end of 2004, to reach three billion (300 crore)," said Urpo Karjalainen, senior vice president, Nokia, whose share in the global cellular market is around 28 per cent.

Of these new subscriptions, nearly half are expected to come from Asia Pacific countries including China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Mobile penetration in APAC is expected to be the major contributor to the global growth and would surpass the magical two billion mark by this year, he said at the company's annual event 'Nokia Connections 2005'.

Nearly 80 per cent of the next billion subscribers were expected to come from new growth markets and lower-spending segments.

Nokia also unveiled seven new handsets for the GSM (global system for mobile communications), CDMA (code division multiple access) and Wideband-CDMA market, targeted at entry level and mid-segment users.

Markets like Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore are also showing significant potential in third generation (3G) development as well with W-CDMA.

Asia Pacific is currently the second fastest growing region in the CDMA segment after Latin America and six of the world's largest CDMA operators are from this region.

"Nokia estimates the region will account for one third of the total CDMA handset volume by the end of 2005," Karjalainen said.

The company has strengthened its presence in the CDMA segment across key markets like Australia, China, Indonesia and New Zealand over the last few years.

"We are now leading the CDMA market in Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand and in recent years, and expanded our operator customer base in Indonesia and Vietnam, which are showing great potential for growth," he said.

The company has decided to launch 40 new models globally in 2005 and 25 per cent would be W-CDMA-capable, Karjalainen said.

The annual growth in mobile service market is expected to be nine per cent during next five years while the highest growth being projected at 23 per cent for data service segment, he added.

On the company's commitment to the Indian market, he said the recent announcement of setting up a mobile production facility and a high-end base station controller manufacturing unit in Chennai demonstrated Nokia's commitment.

A market leader in the cellular industry in APAC, Nokia provides market relevant technology and products to around 20 diverse markets in the region.

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