Gionee Ready To ‘Make In India’, Seeks Policy Clarity From Narendra Modi Govt

Gionee Source: Financial Express, Dec 15, 2014

Chinese handset maker Gionee has said it intends to start manufacturing in India and is awaiting clarity in government policy on the matter before taking the plunge.

“It depends on the (government) policy, we are ready to manufacture in India,” Gionee’s President William Lu said here.The company, which currently manufactures 60 million units annually at its facility here, said it would be better equipped to take the decision to make in India once there is complete clarity on the policy from the Indian side.

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Telecom Commission fixes spectrum base price

Telecom Commission fixes spectrum base priceSource: The Economic Times, Dec 10, 2014

NEW DELHI: Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has finalised the base price for spectrum to be auctioned in February with some riders. TC held a meeting on Monday to discuss the next round of spectrum auction including finalisation of the base price. “The TC has given approval to DoT’s committee recommended reserve price with some conditions. Other matters regarding the auction were also discussed,” said a source.

The committee of the Department of Telecom had suggested a base price of Rs 3,646 crore per MHz for the auction of 800 MHz spectrum, used for offering CDMA services, which is 17 per cent higher than what the regulator Trai has recommended. The price of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz as recommended by DoT committee could not be ascertained. The Telecom Commission’s (TC) decision will now be placed before telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for final approval and after that Cabinet might be approached for certain issues, the source said.

Apple plans big India push with 500 stores

AppleSource: The Economic Times, Dec 08, 2014

New Delhi: Apple, the Cupertino-based world’s most valuable electronics maker, has decided to go big in India. After being on the fringes for long, the company is finally set to cut loose in the fast-growing Indian phone market. The world’s most admired electronics brand – that sells devices such as the iPhone, iPad tablet and iPod media player – plans 500 ‘iOS’ stores in the country in its first major push that will include moving into smaller towns and cities.

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DoT plans to auction 3G spectrum in February: Trai

Source: Business Standard, Dec 03, 2014

New Delhi: The department of telecommunications (DoT) plans to auction spectrum in the 2,100-MHz band in February along with the 800, 900 and 1,800-MHz bands. The DoT asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on November 27 to recommend the reserve price of the 2,100-MHz band.The Trai on Tuesday floated a consultation paper on valuation of the band. After comments from stakeholders, the regulator will provide its recommendations on the base price.

“The DoT requested the Trai to expedite the process for its recommendations on the reserve price of the 2,100 -Mhz band and related issues so that auction of spectrum in this band could be conducted along with spectrum in the 800/900/1,800 MHz bands scheduled in February 2015,” stated Trai.

Trai

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India fastest growing smartphone market in Asia Pacific: IDC

Source: LiveMint.com, Nov 27, 2014

New Delhi: India became the fastest-growing market for smartphones in Asia-Pacific in the three months ended 30 September, following festive demand, said a report by research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) released on Wednesday. The Indian smartphone market grew 82% from a year ago and 27% over the preceding quarter, making it the second consecutive quarter of more than 80% year-on-year shipment growth for smartphones.

Indolink consultingThere were 23.3 million smartphone handsets shipped in the reporting quarter, comprising 32.1% of the overall mobile phone market that touched 72.5 million units in the September quarter of 2014, recording a 9% growth from a year ago and 15% rise from the preceding quarter.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd continued to be the market leader in the Asia-Pacific region with a 24% market share in the smartphone segment, even though its shipment growth was lower than the industry average, implying a contraction in the market share. The company has been trying to maintain its No. 1 position in the India market as it faces a “real possibility” of losing its position to home-grown brands, according to industry analysts.

Micromax Informatics Ltd, which on Wednesday announced a strategic partnership with Intel Corp. for mobile devices, came second in the smartphone market witnessing another strong quarter. Its market share rose to 20% in the September quarter from 18% in the preceding quarter.

While Lava International Ltd remained one of the fastest-growing handset vendors grabbing the third spot with its two brands-Lava and Xolo, Karbonn Mobiles India Pvt. Ltd saw consistent growth with more than 85% of its shipment volume falling under sub $100. Motorola Inc. also managed to retain its position among the top five vendors with its fresh line-up of second generation handsets that fared well for the company, the IDC report said.

In the overall mobile phone market, feature phone shipments recorded quarter on quarter growth of 10% in the September quarter. However, contribution of feature phones in in the overall mobile market saw a fall in growth by 9% as compared with the same period last year as a large number of users migrated to smartphones.

While Samsung and Micromax remained the largest and second-largest vendors in the overall mobile market respectively, Nokia Oyj, Lava International Ltd and Karbonn Mobiles India Pvt. Ltd filled the other three spots in the top five handset vendor list. IDC anticipates moderate sequential growth quarter-on-quarter in 2015.

“With positive consumer sentiments and low levels of inflation, consumers will have more money to spend. Majority of the smartphone users change their phones within 12-24 months,” said Karan Thakkar, senior market analyst at IDC India.

“With 44 million units shipped in CY (calender year) 2013 and the current market scenario hinting at 80 million plus shipment in CY 2014, we have a big chunk of end-user market which is awaiting refresh.” Phablets, the smartphones with 5.5-6.99 inches screen size, contributed 6% to the overall smartphone market.

On the other hand, smartphones with screen sizes between 4.5 and 5.5 inches are seen as the sweet spot for consumer preference, the report noted. Kiran Kumar, research manager, client devices at IDC India, said the research firm expects the phablet segment to pick up again in 2015 with the expected 4G (fourth generation) roll out.

Trai sticks to its view on spectrum pricing

Source: Business Standard, Nov 25, 2014

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday stuck to its original recommendations on pricing spectrum and simultaneous auction of the 800, 900, 1,800 and 2,100-MHz bands, rejecting the Telecom Commission’s view that it should reconsider most of its suggestions on the next round of sale of air waves.

The regulator reiterated its view that the government auction 2,100 MHz along with the 800, 900 and 1,800-MHz bands; otherwise, uncertainty would continue. The Telecom Commission had said auctioning the 2,100-MHz band would not be possible because the defence forces were unlikely to vacate it in the near future.

In response, Trai said all 120-MHz (2×60) air waves in the 2,100-MHz band should be made available for commercial use but released in the medium term.

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DoT, defence ministry resolve spectrum swapping issue

Source: Business Standard, Nov 19, 2014

New Delhi: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the defence ministry have finally resolved the contentious issue of swapping spectrum for commercial use. The issue has been hanging fire from 2009, when a basic plan of vacation of spectrum was decided between the two.

Sources said Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met newly appointed defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday evening, adding the two had reached an agreement on the matter. “The department has given a detailed work plan on the swapping of 2,100 MHz with 1,900 MHz, with a tentative timeline for implementation. Both ministries have discussed this in detail and have agreed in principle,” said a senior DoT official.

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