At a meeting with press today hosted by Thiru Dayanidhi Maran, the Honorable Minister of Communications & IT for India, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) outlined how continued support of open technology standards will enable India to reach its goal of 500 million mobile phone subscribers by 2010. Gilles Delfassy, TI's senior vice president of its Wireless Terminals Business Unit, also announced that TI is increasing its wireless design presence in India with a new research and development (R&D) center in Chennai. TI's history in India began with a research and development center in Bangalore more than 20 years ago and has now expanded with the new R&D center in Chennai dedicated to a platform of technologies that will span across TI's product portfolio.
"Mobile phone growth in India is nothing short of a phenomenon, and the wireless industry waits for India's next move because of the impact it will have on the future of mobile phones," said Delfassy. "Today, there is a huge opportunity to connect the unconnected as the majority of India's population does not have access to communications services. TI has been committed to India for over 20 years, and I'm pleased to say that we are escalating our existing wireless design presence in recognition of the importance of India to the global wireless market."
Choosing efficient, cost-effective mobile technology will be critical to meet India's burgeoning wireless growth, as will be the ability to stay at the forefront of innovation. Two open technologies that offer great promise for India are GSM and DVB-H. "Open standards such as GSM and DVB-H technologies for mobile phones will provide the market with greater choice, better value and more opportunities for innovation. Based on our 17 years experience as a leader in the wireless industry, working to make our customers successful, we believe the best way to enable growth is through open standards," Delfassy said.
According to market research corporation iSuppli, GSM is the predominant technology in India. This year, the GSM growth rate in India is outpacing all other competing technologies. With a natural 3G migration path to GPRS/EDGE/UMTS, GSM offers an inherent advantage in driving this growth.
"GSM has proven to be a great fit for India because it offers choice in terms of products and services available. GSM not only offers entry-level phones for those who have never owned a mobile phone, it also provides mid-range feature phones and smartphones for the growing middle class. GSM stimulates innovation and open competition and ensures that consumers have easy access to a broad choice of operators, seamless roaming and billing across networks and the most cost-efficient handsets on the market," said Delfassy.
Delfassy noted that TI is committed to driving down handset costs with its "LoCosto" family of single-chip mobile phone solutions, which will accelerate wireless penetration in emerging high-volume markets like India. Low-cost handsets based on TI's "LoCosto" platform are expected on the market in India later this year.
Delfassy also addressed live broadcast TV on the mobile phone, a technology which is stirring interest in India, and the importance of open industry standards such as DVB-H to drive adoption of mobile DTV. DVB-H technology is an open industry standard that has become the predominant technology used to deploy mobile TV services around the world. More than 100 companies are developing or deploying services, components and devices based on DVB-H, and more than 300 million users have access to DVB-H.
"Like GSM technology, DVB-H has a competitive environment, which fosters lower costs and spurs innovation. It's no longer difficult to imagine watching a cricket game or a 'Bollywood' movie anywhere, anytime, right on your mobile phone - that vision is now a reality," said Delfassy.
Closing his remarks, Delfassy reiterated TI's commitment to India and continued support of open standards.
"TI has long believed India offers huge potential - as a market, as an innovator, and as a global provider of mobile phone technology and services. It is this belief that led us to build a development center in Bangalore over 20 years ago and to expand our presence with a new research and development center in Chennai. TI remains committed to providing products and services that open up the possibilities for mobile technology in India and that help operators and manufacturers here be successful. And we are determined to do all we can to help India realize its vision of 500 million mobile phone users within the next four years," Delfassy concluded.
Also providing his views on the benefits of GSM technology was T.V. Ramachandran, Director General of India's Cellular Operators Association.
"GSM continues to be the predominant driver of mobile growth, both internationally as well as in India. This standard is growing from strength to strength having recently crossed 2 billion subscribers worldwide," said Mr.Ramachandran. "GSM's global predominance is due to its several advantages which include open standards, interoperability, economies of scale, seamless global roaming, widespread prepaid solutions, rich and versatile value-added services. This standard is committed to bringing the benefits of connectivity to the common man and also fulfilling their aspirations for feature rich services that are available on the GSM platform. The single-chip solution by Texas Instruments is another important innovation that will further improve the affordability of the service and drive access."