March of the Mobile Phones

India has the second largest telecommunication network in the world in terms of number of wireless connections after China.
A mobile world

Mobile market in India which has 687.71 million connections is set to rise to 1.159 billion by the end of 2013, and become approximately $35.5 billion market by then, making it the world's largest mobile market, according to London-based Informa Telecoms and Media's latest forecast.


Latest Mobiles

We now live in a golden age of mobile phones. The iPhone, the G2, the N95, the Bold, 3G: These are exceptionally small mobile computers with built-in telephony features.

From all major mobile phone manufactures, mobiles have already started pouring into store shelves and this trend will only increase in the coming days only to peak by Christmas and the arrival of New Year. Retailers can have a merry time selling latest handsets along with unbelievable offers and deals. Following are the recent smartphones and few of their models:

  • Black berry
  • Iphone
  • 3G

HTC 7 Trophy, HTC 7 Mozart, HTC Desire HD, HTC HD7, HTC Desire Z, Nokia N8, Nokia X3-02, Nokia E7, Nokia N9, Nokia 5120, Samsung Wave 2 Pro S5330, Samsung Captivate, Samsung Galaxy 3, Blackberry Bold 9650, Blackberry Tour 9350, Blackberry Thunder 9500, etc.


Tata DOCOMO, Aircel, Reliance Communications and Airtel have launched their 3G services and it's expected they will heavily rely on smartphones, application stores and multimedia content to corroborate interest from the consumer.


Local manufacturing

The Indian mobile phone revolution is partial without the mention of local handset companies, which are responsible in a big way for taking feature-rich phones to the masses.


Micromax, Lava, Lemon Mobiles, Karbonn etc. are some companies which are playing a vital role in promoting the use of mobile VAS among people in lower income groups, who were earlier unable to explore such features due to the high prices of GPRS-enabled handsets.


These companies are giving hard-hitting competition to established players such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung etc. A recent report by International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that Nokia's market share in India dipped from 64 per cent between 2008 and 2009, down to 52.2 per cent in 2009 to 2010, while Indian brands had a 14 per cent market share in 2009 to 2010, up from about 3 to 4 per cent in the previous year.


Currently, Micromax has a 4.1 per cent share in the Indian handset market, Spice has 3.9 per cent, Karbonn has 3 per cent, Lava has 1.1 per cent and Lemon and Max have 1 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively.


Today, most of these companies depend on China for manufacturing their handsets, mainly owing to better infrastructure, stronger supply chains and a capable and cost effective workforce there.


According to NK Goyal, member, governing council, Telecom Equipment & Services Export Promotion Council, out of 100 to 125 million handsets sold in India every year, 80 million are imported.


However, lately, there have been several security issues with Chinese handsets missing their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, as well as other issues with equipment companies, which could soon cause handset imports to face the axe.


India has an advantage of inexpensive raw materials, cheap labour and software support. These factors can help it to leave China behind to become the biggest mobile assembly hub in coming times.


Conclusion: With technological advancements and increase in subscribers, the mobile market is poised for an upward swing. As per a report there are two main factors fuelling this growth in India - increased competition and the prevalence of multi-SIM activity. And in the above, we have already seen why manufacturing could soon shift local. So do not be surprised if India pushes back China in this race to take to top rung very soon.


Unveiling, 4G, next in the race?

While we are barely done with 3G, Verizon Wireless has come with another surprise: the company's long-awaited 4G LTE wireless service is now up and running. The service, which is available in 38 major metropolitan markets, promises to deliver speeds 10 times as fast as today's 3G networks.



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