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Mediatek to join hands with Reliance Jio, to produce low cost LTE handsets
With Reliance Jio Infocomm looking to launch 4G services in India, mobile devices supporting LTE networks are set to hit Indian shores. Taiwan’s Mediatek is planning to join hands with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio for the affordable chipsets that it plans to launch towards the end of fiscal year 2014-2015, which will allow LTE, 3G and 2G technologies to work together even on entry-level smartphones.

The Taiwanese company’s products support all modes including TDD LTE — important for India because Reliance Jio is rolling out a TDD LTE network -- FDDLTE, 3G, 2G and TD-SCDMA (for China).

The next generation of devices will also see the addition of CDMA2000 capability, a system that’s used in China and USA. Finbarr Moynihan, head of international sales and marketing said that the company will showcase LTE phones that go from $400 range with premium features down to entry-level, which will be relevant for markets like India. The entry-level phones are expected to cost around $79-80, and will be launched next year.

Many market analysts believe that Reliance Jio will launch entry-level LTE devices with Mediatek. The Taiwanese manufacturer is in the process of qualifying their LTE solutions, both with infrastructure providers and with networks. The company also said that they are in active discussions to figure out the timing and appropriate testing for Indian operators, who are very anxious to see Mediatek come in, which will happen by middle of the year and will allow launches later this year.

Mediatek rightly sees India as a highly lucrative market. Excluding countries like China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, India represents the biggest market in Asia. Having enjoyed success in the feature phone market, the South-East Asian phone maker wants the transition to smartphones and tablets. With the expanding market share of local brands, a lot of things going in favour for a year or two. Another reason for the company to focus its strategy on India is that the smartphone market in China is plateauing.

Mr. Moynihan also said that wearable devices were the new trend and based on a user’s lifestyle, they could present an interesting segment, where manufacturers compete. As biomedical sensors grow in numbers and usability, the primary focus of wearable devices, health and fitness could receive a boost.

As a result, more devices tailored in the domain could see the light of the day. Google recently announced Android Wear, which is a clear sign that complementary devices for a smartphone could become popular in the future. With the Indian Market now seen as having a high purchasing power, more manufacturers will be willing to launch new and interesting products.

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