Motorola: 'Made in India' phones coming

The cellphone maker invests US$100 million in a new Indian production plant, to be operational next year.
Written by Aaron Tan, Contributor

Motorola is investing US$100 million to erect a new facility in India to manufacture cellphones and telecommunication equipment.

The world's second largest cellphone maker will build a plant in Chennai's Sriperumbadur Hi-tech Special Economic Zone, which is jointly developed by Motorola and the Indian government, according to a company statement released Wednesday.

The move marks Motorola's further expansion into the sub-continent. The company already has six research and development centers in India, which developed more than 40 percent of the software used by the company's iconic Razr V3 cellphone, the Reuters news agency reported last month.

Motorola expects its new plant to be up and running by next year. Apart from making a range of handsets, the facility will also produce network base stations.

Referring to the company's software development work in the country, Firdose Vandrevala, chairman of Motorola India, said: "We have long been engaged in high-end 'soft manufacturing' and creating intellectual property in the country."

He added that the new facility will benefit from India's "excellent IT skills, exceptional scientific talent, competent and mature workforce, and economies of scale offered by a vast market".

In April this year, rival Nokia announced similar plans to manufacture cellphones in India. The Finnish handset maker is investing some US$150 million in a production plant, also located in Chennai.

According to a Gartner report in March, almost 900 million cellphones will be made this year. By 2008, that number will hit 1 billion, of which two-thirds will come from the Asia-Pacific region.

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