LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd on Monday announced its entry into third generation (3G) services and showcased a whole new range of 3G handsets. The company is looking at an annual turnover of Rs 9,000 crore, with 8 per cent contribution from the sale of two million GSM handsets. The 3G phones, U8110, U8120, U8130 and U8318 models, will be priced between Rs 16,000 and Rs 30,000.
Currently, cellular operators in India are not authorised to offer 3G services and is waiting for Government’s permission. “We expect outstanding issues to be resolved and services to begin by the end of this year. We want to be ready with our line-up of 3G handsets,” LG Head (Consumer Electronics and GSM) C M Singh said.
LG is planning to strengthen its market share in the GSM segment and reach 13-15 per cent in 2005 and 21 per cent in 2006, he said. “We predict that 10 per cent of the total handset market will adopt 3G handsets once the phone will be available,” he added. LG sold 0.5 million GSM handsets last year.
The features available in 3G phones include video conferencing, live video streaming, e-mail, multimedia player and will offer download speed of 384 kbps as against a normal GPRS speed of 48 kbps.
The main growth will come from colour and camera phone segment, which was expected to contribute up to 80 per cent of the total revenues by next year, he said.
Focusing on local content and India-specific requirements, LG will also increase headcount at its Pune development centre, being set up with $ 5 million investment, from 115 people to 300 by 2006, Singh said.
“'The Pune manufacturing plant, which is seeing investment of $ 30 million is already indigenously manufacturing G1600 and C1100 models. Around 60,000 units came out of the plant last month,” he said.
The company also announced the launch of its Value Added Services (VAS) site for GSM handset users at www. lg.com. It will provide free downloadable contents like games, ringtones and wallpapers, besides photo gallery, free SMS through website and other premium content.