I have previously written about Pakistan’s dependence on mobile phone imports. Here are some updates on what is going on in India where Nokia makes its moves to retain its top position. As reported widely in the media, Nokia continued its push into emerging markets, launching a 0.4 in thin “Barracuda” fashion phone and six other handsets predominantly aimed at the Indian market. It will be priced around Indian Rs. 4500 or $105. According to Nokia ” at this price the largest volumes are sold–on both developed and emerging markets.” I believe these phones will hit the Pakistani market in a few months.

Here is even more interesting news, as reported by WSJ. This reinforces the point that rurual markets are the new focus of telecom companies.

Nokia also launched two devices which use technology that makes it easier to share them among families and entire villages. The 1200 and 1208 models include call-tracking and multiple phone books so that many people can use the same phone. Preset time and cost barriers can also be set on the new phones, meaning that the calls can be terminated once it reaches its limit.

Nokia Siemens Networks, the recently merged telephone infrastructure businesses of Nokia and Siemens AG, also said Thursday that it was launching Village Connection, a product aimed bringing mobile networks to rural communities in India and other growth markets.

Last month, India’s largest mobile phone operator Bharti Airtel Ltd. said it had doubled its fourth-quarter net profit, saying rural areas provided a strong opportunity for further growth.

In addition to the barracuda phone, Nokia also launched several entry-level fashion phones, including cameras and FM radio. This is in contrast to the past when most phone manufacturers have offered basic phones into India, with very little functionality.

Nokia has managed to grow its world-wide share of the mobile phone market to 36% over recent quarters by targeting markets such as India and China, where mobile penetration is fairly low at 13% and 35% respectively. India has more than 166 million mobile subscribers and this is growing rapidly.

“India is very important to Nokia and to the global mobile communications industry as a whole,” said Soren Petersen, senior vice president for Nokia’s Mobile Phones unit said in a statement.

In other telecommunication happenings in India, Vodafone Group PLC, the world’s largest mobile phone operator, last month also received approval from India authorities to go ahead with its acquisition of a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar Ltd, India’s fourth largest phone network.

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