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Why Noida-Greater Noida mobile manufacturing belt must open now

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NEW DELHI: With the country entering lockdown 3.0 with further relaxation, the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) and mobile manufacturers on Monday reiterated that the Noida-Greater Noida manufacturing belt need to reopen slowly so that supply chain can be streamlined and the ‘Make in India initiative can be put back on track.

According to Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, ICEA, the normalcy up to 30 per cent in mobile manufacturing will return by the end of May if factories are allowed to function.

“All state governments are trying very hard to come up with calibrated permissions, balancing economic requirement and health and safety of their employees. All these efforts will concretize this week,” Mohindroo told IANS on Monday.

The numbers speak for themselves if we look at the Noida/Greater Noida area.

The region is set to produce about 30 per cent of an estimated 100 crore mobile phones the country will produce annually by 2025.

Approximately 80 mobile manufacturing factories are currently operating in this region, with an estimated total employment of 50,000 people, according to the top mobile industry body.

These 80 units produce mobile handsets as well as components for handsets such as chargers/adapters, battery packs, etc.

South Korean tech giant Samsung, which has the world’s biggest mobile factory at Sector 81, aimed to double its mobile phones manufacturing capacity in Noida from 6.8 crore to 12 crore units a year by the end of this year.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer OPPO, which is currently manufacturing 5 crore smartphones annually at its Kasna-based factory in Greater Noida, aimed to double the capacity to 10 crore units by this year.

Realme India is awaiting the nod to open its factory at Greater Noida.

“We have reached out to the government for approval on opening of factory and now await their decision. We will abide by the government’s order strictly, while prioritising people’s health,” said Madhav Sheth, Vice President, Realme and CEO, Realme India.

Other key smartphone players are currently in touch with the UP government to facilitate the opening of factories.

“Noida/Greater Noida/YEW (Yamuna Expressway) are envisaged to be a global hub of mobile phone and component manufacturing,” according to Mohindroo.

“We estimate that out of the targeted $190 billion value production and 100 crore volume of phones to be produced by 2025, at least 30 per cent will be made here — over $57 billion production of just phones which is a near four-fold jump from the present numbers,” Mohindroo told IANS in a recent interview.

“We estimate a component and sub-assembly industry of at least $20-25 billion developing here in 4-5 years,” he added.

According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, handset manufacturing in India is skewed more in favour of north India by volumes.

“Hence, it is very important to clear the air about resuming operations. We believe that it should be done simultaneously across the country and that too with planned resumption which includes giving proper guidelines, strength of workers and other SoPs,” Pathak told IANS.

Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on April 29 exhorted the electronics industry to explore new opportunities that are arising out of adversity and make the country the global hub of electronics manufacturing.

Prasad asked the electronics industry to take advantage of the opportunity and new schemes notified by the ministry, attract global investment and strengthen the sector.

According to industry experts, to avoid another month with zero smartphone shipments/sales as the country witnessed in April, factories must start functioning so that the industry limps back to normal for the third quarter, and the most important festive sale season later.

“The resumption of work at factories in North India is critical for handset exports too,” said Pathak.

Source: IANS

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Airtel launches Edge CDN ahead of 5G Launch

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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, India’s premier digital communications solutions provider, today announced multiple new products in its cloud portfolio ahead of the 5G service launch. The new cloud offerings will fall under Edge Cloud Portfolio and will include Edge CDN. Airtel will utilise Qwilt’s Open Edge Cloud solution for deployment.

Airtel Cloud’s Edge content delivery network (CDN) accelerates web and video content delivery by using its edge network to bring content as close to users as possible. This reduces latency, costs and load on servers making it easier for enterprises to focus on app performance. This service is especially useful in OTT, Ed-Tech, Gaming and Healthcare sectors.

Airtel Cloud’s Edge CDN service is network optimised as it uses 120 edge locations, network strength and share of mobility handset to bring better customer experience to customers. Airtel is working with two of the largest OTT companies in India and others on this platform.

Speaking about Airtel Cloud’s Edge Portfolio, Mr Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business Said, said, “With 5G around the corner, businesses will leverage the low latency, high bandwidth and high device density of the 5G spectrum to solve critical problems using edge computing. Airtel has three key strengths to offer a differentiated set of cloud offerings – we have 12 large data centres and 120+ edge locations. We also have a network with comprehensive coverage across the country and to most locations across the globe. Finally, our GTM strength has direct relationships to all businesses in India small, medium or large.”

Speaking about the partnership, Mr. Alon Maor, CEO, Qwilt, said “Airtel is a tremendously exciting addition to our global ecosystem of service providers, and we are delighted to power a unique content delivery service offering in India. Our edge architecture provides a new economic model for streaming delivery, in which Airtel Cloud’s Edge CDN plays a central role in the end-to-end value chain. This announcement underscores the momentum we are gathering as we realize our ambition to build the world’s highest preforming edge delivery network.”

Airtel has been spearheading 5G throughout India. It recently became the first company to test a captive private network at the Bosch facility in Bengaluru. Airtel is also rolling out its Edge compute service to customers. This will bring 5G private network and edge computing in a single box with a view to target factories, warehouse and ports, airports who will need low latency and high bandwidth network, IOT devices to collect and computing prowess to process the data.

Airtel also announced that as we move ahead, there will be many targeted cloud solutions coming in for specific industry needs like Banking, 5G Edge, Developer and hybrid cloud requirements on an immediate basis.

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India seeks to block Chinese firms from sub-Rs 12,000 phone market: Report

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NEW DELHI: India seeks to restrict Chinese smartphone makers from selling devices cheaper than Rs 12,000 ($150) to kickstart its faltering domestic industry, dealing a blow to brands including Xiaomi Corp.

The move is aimed at pushing Chinese giants out of the lower segment of the world’s second-biggest mobile market, according to people familiar with the matter. It coincides with mounting concern about high-volume brands like Realme and Transsion undercutting local manufacturers, they said, asking not to be identified discussing a sensitive matter.

Exclusion from India’s entry-level market would hurt Xiaomi and its peers, which in recent years have increasingly relied on India to drive growth while their home market endures a series of Covid-19 lockdowns that crippled consumption. Smartphones under $150 contributed to a third of India’s sales volume for the quarter through June 2022, with Chinese companies accounting for up to 80% of those shipments, according to market tracker Counterpoint.

Xiaomi’s shares extended losses in the final minutes of trading in Hong Kong on Monday. It slid 3.6%, extending their decline this year to more than 35%. It’s unclear whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will announce any policies or use informal channels to convey its preference to Chinese companies, the people said.

“Xiaomi smartphone shipments may fall by 11-14% a year, or 20-25 million units, with sales decreasing by 4-5%, we calculate, if India enacts a ban on China-made mobile phones retailing under $150. It accounts for 25% of the segment in India, which is Xiaomi’s most important overseas market, with 66% of its smartphones priced under $150,” according to IDC’s analysts.

New Delhi has already subjected Chinese firms operating in the country, such as Xiaomi and rivals Oppo and Vivo, to close scrutiny of their finances, which has led to tax demands and money laundering allegations. The government has previously employed unofficial means to ban Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. telecom equipment. While there’s no official policy prohibiting Chinese networking gear, wireless carriers are encouraged to purchase alternatives.

The move shouldn’t affect Apple Inc. or Samsung Electronics Co., which price their phones higher. Representatives from Xiaomi, Realme and Transsion didn’t respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople from India’s technology ministry also didn’t respond to Bloomberg News inquiries.

India amped up pressure on Chinese firms in the summer of 2020 after more than a dozen Indian soldiers died following a clash between the two nuclear-armed neighbors on a disputed Himalayan border. It has since banned more than 300 apps, including Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok, as relations between the two countries fray.

Homegrown companies such as Lava and MicroMax comprised just under half of India’s smartphone sales before new entrants from the neighboring country disrupted the market with cheap and feature-rich devices.

Chinese smartphone players now sell the vast majority of devices in India, but their market dominance has not been “on the basis of free and fair competition”, MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Business Standard last week. Recurring annual losses posted by most Chinese handset makers in India, despite their leading position, add to criticism of unfair competition.

In private, the government continues to ask Chinese executives to build local supply chains, distribution networks and export from India, suggesting New Delhi still very much wants their investment, the people said.

Source: Bloomberg

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Samsung to start selling premium Galaxy S22 series from March 11

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NEW DELHI: South Korean electronics major Samsung on Thursday unveiled smartphone Galaxy S22 Ultra series in the ultra premium segment which it plans to start selling in the country from March 11.

The company unveiled six high-end smartphones in the Galaxy S22 series in the price range of Rs 72,999-Rs 1,18,999 apiece.

“For the first time, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will bring together the best of Galaxy Note and S Series.

“Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a built-in S Pen, advanced nightography capabilities, and battery life that lasts over a day, making it our most-powerful ultra device yet,” Samsung India Senior Director and Head (Product Marketing) Aditya Babbar said.

An industry source said the company will start selling the Galaxy S22 series in the country from March 11.

Source: Press Trust of India

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