India may now see manufacture of mobile handsets

Monday, 18 October 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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PATNA: With India adding one million mobile phones to its telecom network every month, the country may now become a manufacturing base for cell phone handsets - a proposition found unfeasible till a year ago.

"India will start manufacturing cell phones to check imports in large numbers," Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Shakeel Ahmed said here.

The government has initiated talks in this regard with the Telephone Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA). "We are seriously keen to manufacture cell phones instead of depending on importing it," Ahmed told IANS.

The minister said that two million mobile handsets worth 6 billion ($130 million) were being imported in India each year. If cell phone manufacturing units are set up in the country, it could save it over 1 billion.

Besides, the manufacture of mobile phones would also give a boost to the country's high-tech industry because the volume of business would increase manifold, he added.

Ahmed also said that at least one such manufacturing unit would come up in his home state of Bihar. The demand for mobile phones was increasing with each passing day in both urban centres and rural areas.

Studies, he added, had projected the demand for cell phones to double within the next five years in the country.




Source: IANS
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