Continued growth in GSM subscribers in India during the last quarter of 2005, has reason for one Finnish company to keep smiling – Nokia. Nokia expects its handset sales to be close to 900 million units in 2006. Continued co-operation from the government by reducing import duty on handsets from 50% in 2000 to 5% in 2005, thus eliminating the grey market and a constant push by IT Minister Mr. Dayanidhi Maran to expand services to rural areas will not only help boost the bottomline of handset manufacturers but also that of network infrastructure companies. Further concessions are available for handset manufacturers who want to setup shop in India and localize to the Indian diversity.
Nokia is the market leader in India followed by Sony-Erricson and Samsung. The trio control a whoping 85% of the GSM handset market. GSM is the most sought after service with 80% of Indian subscribers opting for it, while the remaining 20% is divided between CDMA and WLL.