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Mobile Internet Edges into ULC market

Posted: 01 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Edge technology? ultralow-cost mobile phone? mobile Internet?

The ultralow-cost (ULC) handset market is seeing high levels of interest from all industry players. The market anticipates over 80 million new wireless subscribers year-on-year in China until 2012, while India--having a user-base of 275 million--has one of the lowest teledensities in the world, with less than 25 percent. These markets offer huge potential for handset manufacturers as the developed markets slowly reach saturation point.

The GSM Association has predicted that several hundred million ULC models will ship by 2010, with over two-thirds of new cellular users expected in the next three years to be from the developing world. With this backdrop, the interest in the ULC market is understandable. The key to success will lie in the correct targeting of application and user trends.

The low-cost and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets have been driven by a focused and dedicated strategy of on-chip integration as a means of achieving a price-performance position needed in a market with sub-$40 average selling price. The evolution of the sector is being driven by the aggressive integration strategy of chip suppliers. Baseband, power management unit, RF transceiver and FM radio are now combined on a single-chip. This evolution has provided the ULC segment with affordable phones with a targeted multimedia feature-set.

In the BRIC target markets, users belong to one of three groups: low-income users in urban/rural areas; people who don�t need the extended functions of mobile phones; and financially dependent people.

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