Qualcomm and India’s Reliance Communications Limited (RCL) have formed a strategic alliance to support the introduction of CDMA wireless technology in India.
As part of the alliance, Qualcomm has committed to invest up to $200 million for a minority stake in the equity capital of RCL.
RCL intends to provide basic telephone services, Wireless Local Loop (WLL) with limited mobility and national long distance services in India. RCL also proposes to enter into international long distance telephony once the sector is open to private companies.
RCL has acquired licenses for providing basic telephone services in 17 out of 21 circles in India. Including Gujarat, this covers approximately 95% of India’s population. RCL proposes to provide limited mobility wireless services under these licenses by deploying CDMA2000 1X technology during 2002.
CDMA2000 1X was first introduced in Korea in October 2000 and has approximately 3.5 million subscribers to date. Additional CDMA2000 1X launches are expected this year in several countries including the United States, Japan, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. There are more than 100 million CDMA subscribers in 47 countries worldwide.
A major objective of the Government of India’s New Telecom Policy 1999 (NTP 99) is to increase rural teledensity from the current level of 0.4 to 4.0% by the year 2010 and provide reliable transmission media in all rural areas.