The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mukesh bets on mobile market

New Delhi, Jan 20: Reliance Infocomm plans to capture a major share in the mobile phone market which is expected to grow to about 100 million subscribers in the next few years. Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries chairman and managing director, today said: “The opportunity ahead of us is enormous. The market for mobile phones is at least 100 million. This is more than 10 times the current size. As an industry, our efforts must be focused on gaining from a growing market.”

Launching an attack on the cellular industry for delaying the interconnect and also opposing the limited mobile phone services, Ambani said: “Everyone, these days, is talking about the need to be connected. I would say to the whole industry: ‘Let us first ourselves be connected — in ideas, in approach, in customer services and in interconnect.

“Better product and service offerings at cheaper prices will be the order in the industry. There is no sense in lamenting and resisting this inevitability. The speed of technological innovation and product improvement and lower prices will be unrelenting.”

“Like people, technology is born. It ages and it dies. We are witnessing a transition from one generation of telecom technology to another. This demands a change across the board; in the mindset of service providers, vendors, application developers, content providers and the consumers,” Ambani said.

“Every caller who pays Rs 5 in place of Rs 50 for an international call and only 40 paise instead of Rs 20 for a call from Delhi to Mumbai will become a supporter of economic reforms. Our industry, by its positive response, will widen its own support base,” he added.

Speaking at the SuperComm telecom conference, Ambani also stressed the need to offer convergence products to consumers and to create the environment to develop such products in India. He said this would enable Indian entrepreneurs to develop products for a global market.

He pointed out that while the computer industry has pocket-size computers that are mobile, the communications industry has mobile handsets that compute. As they converge, the industry will experience tectonic changes. “We are only seeing the beginning of convergence of computing and wireless communications. At this time, both are at two ends of a technological path and moving towards each other,” said Ambani.

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