What’s Qualcomm’s Strategy to Boost 4G Adoption in India?
How does Qualcomm plan to tap the Indian market?
Low penetration and high data consumption have made India (INDA) the next big Smartphone market. Qualcomm (QCOM) believes that active interest in Indian carriers and local handset makers could drive 4G (fourth-generation) penetration in the country.
The company is looking to invest in customer engineering and marketing to bring cost-efficient technology to a larger audience and boost 4G adoption in the country.
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Qualcomm’s senior vice president of Asia Pacific & India, James Cathey, told The Economic Times that the company is in talks with Indian carriers for network planning and optimization.
Cathey said, “We will also continue to put infrastructure — RF (radio frequency) design center, audio, camera and interoperability testing –that global and local brands are able to use.”
Cathey stated that Qualcomm is also developing products and designs for phones and IoT (Internet of Things) devices to make local handset brands competitive. It’s set up research labs and is making venture capital investments to develop products in India.
Qualcomm’s 205 mobile platform, which brings 4G capabilities to entry-level phones, was developed by its engineering team in India. The company is working with Indian players such as Micromax, Reliance Jio, and several Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) to launch 4G VoLTE (voice over long-term evolution) feature phones powered by the 205 platform.
Qualcomm has entered into a 3G (third-generation) and 4G patent licensing deal with Smartron India. The two will also collaborate on early access to new technology and advancements for RF, camera testing, and tuning.
Even Apple (AAPL) is tapping the Indian market by establishing a design and development center for its iOS in Bangalore, India.
How does Qualcomm plan to create demand for high-end phones?
In an interview with The Economic Times, Qualcomm’s regional head of South-East Asia, Mantosh Malhotra, stated that the company would bring more features onto devices at affordable prices to drive the adoption of 4G technology. Once consumers get used to the 4G experience and its advanced features, they may want to upgrade to better-quality phones, driving demand for higher-end devices.
However, Qualcomm’s investors weren’t too impressed by these growth efforts as licensing disputes overshadowed the company’s future growth potential. Next, let’s look at the company’s stock performance.