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December 19, 2011

Gemini Communications Plans to Manufacture 4G Equipment in India

By Ashok Bindra
TMCnet Contributor

Chennai, India-based networking products and solutions provider Gemini Communications Ltd. is exploring the idea of setting up a 4G equipment manufacturing plant in India through its subsidiary PointRed Telecom (News - Alert) Ltd. However, according to Gemini, it all depends on favorable government policies on the 4G rollout and access to low cost capital, reported Indian newspaper The Hindu’s BusinessLine.

BusienssLine reporter T. E. Raja Simhan quoted Gemini CEO Pradhyumna T. Venkat, as saying, “These two are very critical to make the decision to set up the plant in the next six to eight months.”  Venkat is the CEO of Gemini’s Enterprise Applications and Services Division.

PointRed Telecom, which was acquired by Gemini in 2008, has two manufacturing units in Taipei, Taiwan. It assembles 4G equipment with an annual capacity of 60,000 units, wrote Raja Simhan. Gemini claims that PointRed is the only Indian company in the 4G space whose products are certified by the WiMAX (News - Alert) forum. And holds significant market share in developing economies like India, Africa and Latin America, Raja Simhan wrote.

With the WiMAX subscriber base estimated to reach 14 million by 2013 and, thereafter grow annually at about 130 percent for the next four years, India is estimated to have around 20 per cent of the global WiMAX users, wrote Raja Simhan. “It makes India a $13-billion WiMAX market, according to Gemini’s annual report,” added Raja Simhan.

To set up the 4G manufacturing plant in India, Gemini CEO said that the company would require about Rupees 150-175 crore (US $28.32 - $33 million) in the next 18-24 months. For that, the company is looking for private investments, Venkat said.

Meanwhile, Gemini is helping Indian telecom carriers like BSNL (News - Alert) to deploy rural mobile WiMax service in Indian States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Orissa. This deal between BSNL and PointRed is worth about Rupees 385-crore (US $72.7 million), according to the BusinessLine report.

Concurrently, Gemini is also expanding into the energy and utilities sector. The company has disclosed plans to set-up a solar-based grid connected power project at Sattur in Tamil Nadu with an investment of Rupees 16 crore (US $3.0 million). Additionally, the company is also reporting that it has entered into an agreement with a Bihar-based telecom operator for providing solar-based energy systems integrators for its 220 sites, Gemini told BusinessLine.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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