Own-brand handset adds some additional Spice

9 Aug 2004

Indian GSM operator Spice has launched its first own-brand mobile handset – the dual-band Spice Q515 model – which it initially plans to make available across Punjab. With cellular penetration in the state standing at just 10%, Spice hopes that offering a guaranteed and self-branded low-cost alternative to models supplied by traditional vendors will bolster its share of the rapidly expanding wireless sector and steer users away from the dominance of the grey market. Rapidly falling handset prices and aggressive marketing campaigns are fuelling explosive growth and Spice wants to secure a portion of the country’s lucrative handset market which is estimated to reach 16.9 million units in 2004, rising to 63 million by 2007. Spice’s announcement of its first foray into the handset market was timed to coincide with plans to spend INR1 billion (USD21.65 million) on upgrading its network, doubling network capacity and increasing service coverage in Punjab.