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Qualcomm's handset pre-test lab by year-end

November 24, 2005 10:11 IST

CDMA technology and chipset designer Qualcomm Inc will set up a handset pre-certification laboratory in Hyderabad that will go on stream by the end of this year.

The lab is being set up to enable handset manufacturers to conduct pre-tests on the embedded technology and chipset that are shipped on their products.

The company is also looking at introduction of concurrence in CDMA and launch its forward link technology in the country by late 2007 or early 2008.

"This lab will help original equipment manufacturers test and certify their products, in turn, helping in reduction of cost by providing advanced trouble shooting much before the product is out in the market. This will also help in reducing time taken to market, which is one of the most important requirements of the industry," said Kanwalinder Singh, president, Qualcomm India & SAARC.

The new lab would be set up on the premises of its existing one and will utilise the resources and human talent of the latter. This is also important to Qualcomm, as the company is bullish on the prospects of CDMA in the country, especially as the two service providers - Reliance Infocomm and Tata Indicom - are registering the most number of net additions during the year.

He, however, did not divulge the investments earmarked for the new facility. Qualcomm is also mulling of increasing its total headcount in the country from the present 300 engineers, who function out of the company's Hyderabad and Bangalore offices.

"Going forward we plan to increase the total number of engineers significantly," Singh said without revealing the exact number of recruitment expected.

Apart from Hyderabad and Bangalore offices, the company has two business development offices in Mumbai and Delhi. The company also has a Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless lab in Mumbai.

The company is also looking at introduction of concurrence in CDMA technology, moving ahead of competition that banks on convergence. Concurrence is enabling a handset to do multiple functions at the same time, like enabling the user to access both data and voice services, even while watching a livecast on the handset.

This would also enable the combination of existing technologies like CDMA-2000 and CDMA-1X, with emerging ones like 3G, Evolution Data Optimised and Voice over Internet Protocol on wireless.

"We have always been a pioneer in technology and now we are looking at making concurrence happen," he said.

Kanwalinder Singh also said that the company is looking at bringing in its FLO, a media cast technology that allows users to surf TV channels on mobile phones, in the country. Qualcomm, which has already floated a subsidiary - Media FLO - for the propagation of the technology, expects it to be launched by mid next year in US.

The company is also looking at forming a consortium of operators, content providers and broadcasters for the roll out FLO in the country, which is expected to be launched by late 2007 or early 2008.

Qualcomm is also exploring the options of roping in CDMA service providers, Tata Indicom and Reliance Infocomm, for the venture.
Rajesh Kurup in Mumbai
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