The Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (IC Mobile) plans to step up its commitment to the Asian market even more vigorously, with a medium-term aim of becoming No. 2 in the Asian mobile communication market (without Japan and Korea). This announcement was made today by Lothar Pauly, Boardmember of the Information and Communication Mobile Group, during a press conference in Beijing. To cope with rapidly growing demand in the Asian mobile radio market, Siemens will be investing around US$ 60 million with a view to enlarging its annual production capacity in Shanghai from 10 to 14 million mobile devices. In the Research & Development (R&D) area Siemens IC Mobile will be investing around US$ 250 million in extending the three newly established Centers of Competence by mid 2003. This will create an additional 320 highly qualified new jobs in Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore.
Siemens IC Mobile sees its current position on the market as confirmation that it is well on the way to achieving its goal of growing faster than the market and climbing to No. 2 position in Asia Pacific in the medium term. In the mobile phone market Siemens currently holds approx. 12% of the market in Asia Pacific and 13% in the People's Republic of China, the biggest single market for mobile phones in Asia Pacific. In the mobile infrastructure market Siemens has an approx. 11% share in Asia Pacific and 14% in China.
That is why in the second phase of its US$ 1.5 billion investment program in Asia Pacific, IC Mobile will in 2001 be further raising production capacity in Shanghai, Siemens' production center for the entire Asia Pacific region. As Lothar Pauly announced at the press conference: "The mobile communication market in Asia is booming with a growth rate of more than 30%. As No. 3 in mobile networks and terminals, Siemens is well placed to help shape the rapid growth of the Asian market. Our production capacities in Shanghai will already be exhausted by the end of this year, so we have decided to enlarge the capacity to an annual 14 million mobile devices, which means an increase of 40%. We are pursuing long-term value creation in the region."
IC Mobile will also be concentrating on Research & Development (R&D) in Asia and will be relying on the highly qualified workforce available in this region, which is currently the biggest growth market in the mobile communication sector. Under the banner "Siemens Mobile Asia Research and Development" (SMARD) the three R&D centers already established in Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore are now being extended. Alongside the 150 jobs which IC Mobile created in the first step, approximately 320 new jobs will be established. Highly qualified engineers in Beijing will take the first TD-SCDMA (Time Division - Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) mobile phone to serial production level by 2003. TD-SCDMA technology will generate a large new customer base for local mobile radio carriers and at the same time allow everyone in China who until then has been using the globally leading GSM mobile radio standard to move seamlessly into the 3rd Generation (3G) of mobile communication. A specimen TD-SCDMA mobile phone was presented at today's press conference. These phones are scheduled to be available in spring 2002 as test devices for initial TD-SCDMA trial runs.
TD-SCDMA is the 3G standard officially recognized by 3GPP (3G Partnership Project). Its development for the Chinese market, driven jointly by the China Academy for Telecommunications Technology (CATT) and Siemens, started in 1998. Being a GSM-based standard, it will allow direct migration toward 3rd generation mobile communication. The resulting cost savings and possibility of early introduction compared to other 3G standards make TD-SCDMA interesting not only for the Chinese market but also as a Chinese export product.
In the second "SMARD", the Beijing center for "Mobile Advanced Technologies", 100 engineers are currently focusing on 3G networks, software and mobile services. This center also attaches great importance to carrying out development work for later Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Centers.
Further R&D centers for 3G networks and applications will shortly be set up in Asia under the "SMARD" banner.