October 09, 2009 | The Hindu Business Line

Tata DoCoMo plans to set up R&D centre

Kolkata, Oct. 8 NTT DoCoMo, the leading telecom provider in Japan, is planning to set up a new global research and development centre in India in association with Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL), its GSM partner in the country.
Giving this information to the media persons at the launch of Tata DoCoMo’s GSM service in the Kolkata Circle here on Thursday, Mr Anil Sardana, Managing Director, TTSL, pointed out that this would be DoCoMo’s sixth R&D centre in the world. Its other centres are in Yokosuka City (Japan), Beijing, California (two) and Munich. DoCoMo has 26 per cent stake in the Indian joint venture company.
“We are jointly conducting a study to set up the R&D centre, preferably in the southern region of the country. A certain amount of work has already been completed in this direction and the size and shape of the project is currently being worked upon,” Mr Sardana said, while pointing out that the target date for launching the project was not finalised yet.
The R&D centre would primarily look into developing and implementing innovative and customer-friendly value-added services (VAS), he said, adding, “We plan to introduce in India a host of new VAS introduced by DoCoMo in Japan.” In Japan, DoCoMo’s value-added services cater to the customers’ daily requirements such as in purchasing railway tickets and buying merchandise. “A lot of this would be launched in India gradually,” he said.
Currently, VAS contributed 14 per cent of TTSL’s revenue, he said, pointing out that this was the highest contribution from VAS to a telecom operator’s revenue recorded in the country. The company had a target of churning out 15 per cent revenue from VAS in the current fiscal and 25 per cent, at par with current European levels, in two-three years, he added.
Delhi launch

Tata DoCoMo planned to roll out its GSM service in Delhi by December, thus completing the launch in all circles, Mr Deepak Gulati, President, Tata DoCoMo, said.
The pay per second tariff would help customers save cost as compared with per minute tariffs, Mr Sardana said. The customers ended up paying 18-25 per cent extra in case of per minute tariffs, particularly on account of unutilised call time during call drops, he added.
The company also planned to launch more handsets, particularly of the Android variety, for its GSM service in association with Nokia, Samsung and other handset manufacturers, he said.

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