Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Mar 07, 2002
Qualcomm bullish on telecom software
Dr Irwin Mark Jacobs
NEW DELHI, March 6
AFTER investing $200-million for a four per cent stake in Reliance Communications, the US-based Qualcomm Inc, the pioneer of CDMA technology, is looking for investment opportunities in software companies in the country. The company is now bullish on its prospects in the country in view of the massive rollouts that companies such as Reliance are planning on CDMA platform.
``The next opportunity we have here in India will be on the development of software, and possibly working with manufacturers of equipment. The chances are that we will make investments in companies that develop software,'' said Dr Irwin Mark Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Inc.
Speaking to media persons at the Convergence 2002 exhibition here, Dr Jacobs said Qualcomm would invest up to $5-million in small and medium-sized software companies from a $400-million fund that the company has set up for such investments worldwide.
``We are always open to opportunities. Some of them may be small software companies who write applications for various devices that will be used for CDMA,'' he said.
Dr Jacobs also stated that Qualcomm would consider establishing a research and development (R&D) centre in India, either through an alliance with a software company or on its own.
``One of the possibilities is to work with another company which will provide the R&D capability. But we would also be interested in setting up a R&D centre here which will have the facilities to provide software testing, assistance as well as develop software,'' he said.
A decision in this regard would be taken this year itself. Qualcomm had earlier entered India with plans to set up manufacturing and R&D facilities, but withdrew following the poor business environment that prevailed in the country at that time.
Dr Jacobs declined to comment on the business potential India offered to Qualcomm saying that it was too early to make an assessment of the market since there were no indigenous handset manufacturers operating in the country.
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