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India 2nd largest base for Qualcomm outside San Diego, says Rajen Vagadia

Nidhi Singal     January 21, 2020

Qualcomm India has announced the global launch of three new Snapdragon mobile platforms to address the ongoing demand for 4G smartphones. The new chipsets - Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460 - have been designed to enhance user experience across connectivity, gaming and entertainment.

"While we see a fast adoption of 5G across geographies globally, we do recognise the phenomenal boost that 4G has given towards enabling broadband connectivity for Indian consumers. 4G will continue to remain a focus area for Qualcomm Technologies for regions like India, where it will stay a key technology for connectivity," says Rajen Vagadia, vice president and president, Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd.

According to Qualcomm, these new mobile platforms enable fast 4G connectivity speeds, deliver key Wi-Fi 6 features and integrated Bluetooth 5.1 with advanced audio via the Qualcomm FastConnect 6-series subsystems, support Dual-Frequency (L1 and L5) GNSS to improve location positioning accuracy and robustness, and are the first system-on-chip solutions to support Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC).

Dr K Sivan, chairman, ISRO, said, "The availability of NavIC across multiple mobile platforms will help enhance the geolocation capabilities of smartphones in the region and bring the benefits of this indigenous solution to Indian consumers for their day-to-day use. ISRO is satisfied with the efforts of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. towards incorporating NavIC and we urge OEMs to leverage it for future handset launches in India."

"Manu Jain, global vice president, Xiaomi and managing director, Xiaomi India, says, "We have worked closely with Qualcomm Technologies to ensure that the Snapdragon 720G Mobile Platform enables our customers to unlock this potential and experience high-performance seamlessly at faster speeds. We will be one of the first brands globally to launch a smartphone based on the new Snapdragon 720G."

Commenting on the importance of the Indian market for Qualcomm, Vagadia adds, "We have always been a silent worker in the background. India is now the second-largest base outside of San Diego for Qualcomm's research and development. We have over 10,000 employees here, working on cutting edge technology. So what you see here (referring to chipsets), a great part of it was delivered out of India."

Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor family is meant for mobile phones primarily for connectivity solutions. Other than Snapdragon processors, the engineers based out of India are also working across many other things - automotive, solutions that are in other verticals like Wi-Fi, to name a few.

Talking about innovation, Vagadia avers, "We were the first ones to bring the whole package of Indian languages on, so these are attempts which you will keep hearing. Now we are talking NavIC, which is by far one of the best things we have done in the last one and a half years which is so much specific to India."

Commenting on the growth of Qualcomm India, Vagadia adds, "over the last three years we have grown exponentially. Now, will it grow the way it is growing? Logically, Yes. I would say it would grow but we don't have a definitive number on what we are going to grow to. I think it comes up that a lot of our OEM partners are sitting here. So as they grow, their demand will become more local. And to help them scale, we also scale our teams to support them."

Qualcomm's goal is to enable partners to continue creating solutions that offer seamless connectivity access and exceptional mobile experiences, that consumers can count on. According to Vagadia, more than 50 per cent smartphones in India are running on Qualcomm chipsets. The number does flip flop, with success of a particular model.

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