OMH SIMs give CDMA Services a Boost

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After the successful launch of OMH (open market handset) SIM Card for CDMA Mobile services in India the CDMA mobile service providers received a significant boost.

India's leading CDMA operators, technology maker Qualcomm, along with handset manufacturer Micromax, projected a strong growth for the CDMA handsets market in India, with the expected launch of at least 25 new OMH-capable handsets in the year 2010 from leading Indian and global OEM brands.

These handsets will range from basic multimedia models to smartphones and will be priced from Rs.1500 to Rs. 10,000 plus. All Indian CDMA operators like Reliance Communications (RCOM),Tata Teleservices (Tata Indicom), Sistema Shyam (MTS India) and Virgin Mobile India are OMH complaint. They offer OMH SIM cards and support OMH handsets on their networks.

Sandeep Sibal, Country Manager and Vice President of Technology, Qualcomm India & South Asia, said, “We are here to celebrate the growing success of OMH initiative since the first commercial launch in August 2009. India being the second largest CDMA market in the world, with over 110 million subscribers, was the launch market for OMH initiative. Today commercial OMH handsets are available from Samsung and Micromax with OMH SIM cards from all Indian CDMA operators. We expect 25 OMH handsets to be launched this year, ranging from entry-level multimedia to smartphones, half of which will have EVDO high-speed data capability.”

While basic handsets will have features like FM, MP3, camera and data capability, the feature-rich handsets and smartphones will have high-speed internet access for consumers and the ability to enjoy applications like social networking (Facebook, Orkut), rich multimedia (streaming audio and video, mobile TV), faster e-mails and downloads, and a host of other applications like Twitter and instant messaging.

Vrajesh Shelat, Head Wireless Data Business, Reliance Communications, India’s largest integrated communication services provider, said, “OMH has done exceedingly well in India, offering wider choice of devices to consumers and ease of access with OMH SIM cards, which work seamlessly for experiencing multimedia and internet services leveraging high-speed data networks of CDMA operators. OMH has enabled enhanced time-to-market capabilities for OEMs, and more flexibility and efficiency for operators to expand voice and data services.”

Ajay Mathur, Senior Vice President and Head Consumer Marketing, Tata Teleservices Limited, the country’s fastest-growing dual-technology telecom service provider, said, “The OMH initiative is critical from a consumer point of view and this platform will give a tremendous boost to the high-end smartphone category with rich data downloads and video-streaming capabilities in India and competitive pricing. In a short span, we have seen around 15-20% growth from the open market initiative.”

Vikas Jain, Business Director, Micromax Informatics Limited, the leading Indian mobile handset manufacturer, said, “We will launch six more OMH handsets in next six months in the sub-Rs 6,500 price segment and these will include high-end multimedia and EVDO capabilities (E360 with high-speed internet access, E500 a full touch EVDO handset and a dual smart phone with a Android operating system).”

Atul Joshi, Chief Sales Officer, MTS India, the mobile telephony services brand of Sistema Shyam Teleservices Limited (SSTL), said, “Open Market Handsets in the Indian market has provided a great platform for the CDMA operators. OMH handsets and EVDO enabled smart phones will change the profile of the CDMA technology operators in India. The aspirational class will be onward with CDMA blurring the gap between competition and CDMA players.

Deval Parikh, Chief Officer of Handsets, VAS and Procurement, Virgin Mobile, India’s first national youth focused mobile service brand, said, “For OMH, the biggest opportunity is in the handset segment in the price range of Rs 2,500-Rs 9,000, with a focus on the youth category. With OMH expanding as a global initiative, larger device volumes across geographies will play a critical role in lowering handset prices.”

OMH is an industry initiative led by CDMA Development Group (CDG) to enhance the CDMA ecosystem by offering a greater selection of devices through multiple distribution channels. The CDG is working with over 50 CDMA operators, device and R-UIM/SIM card manufacturers and distributors worldwide to bring more OMH devices to market and assist operators to configure their networks to support OMH.

OMH enables operator-specific network configuration, service provisioning and subscriber-identity data to be moved from the handset’s internal memory onto a next-generation OMH SIM card. By doing so, the handset becomes a generic device that can be sold on the “open market” and used by multiple operators, providing consumers a greater selection of CDMA devices and the flexibility to select the operator and mobile data services they desire. The open market model also improves device time-to-market, expands distribution channels, and reduces inventory risk for manufacturers and operators.

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