We have sold more than 150 million 4G LTE enabled Smartphone chips

In an interview with Konnect Worldwide Mr. Kuldeep Malik, Country Head – Corporate Sales International, MediaTek India says India is very Important market for Mediatek and we are 100% committed to it.

Here are the edited excerpts from the conversation

How important is India for Mediatek?

India is the second biggest market for MediaTek, after China, so an extremely important region. In the past decade, we have made a significant contribution to the market by helping to enable the local mobile handset ecosystem through our unique reference design model, and consistently delivering best-in-class solutions to local partners and introducing value add multimedia features for end users. Now, we look to continue to improve our efforts towards making latest technology more affordable and accessible for all.

2016 – Year of Mass 4G Network Deployments – How does this translate into business opportunity for Mediatek?

MediaTek introduced the first 4G LTE chipset back in 2014 and since then we have announced a whole portfolio of products to cater to this segment, across all price points ranging from entry to mid to high. For modems, we are working with CAT 4 and CAT 6, we also support VoLTE, WiFi calling and we even support a ‘world-mode’ with CDMA 1x modem. In addition, we are also looking at higher categories with even more channel bundling for higher data rates and more efficient throughput. So, we are already well equipped to cater to this growing demand from our partners for smarter, faster 4G LTE solutions, and translating that into business. Last year, we sold more than 350 million Smartphone chips, out of which over 150 million were 4G LTE enabled. We expect the number to increase this year with more markets including India transitioning to 4G LTE technology.

4G LTE Smartphone Chipset Innovations which India market can look forward in 2016 from Mediatek?

As was seen in 2015, our focus shall remain on 4G LTE solutions for this year as well. Last year, we already introduced in India some brilliant innovations under our new MediaTek helio series, comprising of the more premium chipset range, like the helio X10. This year, you can expect to see more product variations under the helio series, bringing to the consumers some amazing first-time experiences. For instance, the helio X20 features a Tri-Cluster CPU that provides three processor clusters, each designed to more efficiently handle different types of workloads; while the helio P10 offers the world’s first TrueBright ISP engine, which enables ultra-sensitive RWWB sensor to capture twice as much light as traditional RGB sensors in order to retain true color and detail, even in low light.

On the side, we shall also continue to introduce new 4G LTE SoCs catering to the mid and entry level segment, like the MT6737, MT6738 and MT6750, our competitive Cat-4, Cat-6 CA quad-core, and Cat-6 CA octa-core LTE solutions, respectively. Again, we shall aim to target the segment as a whole, seeking to deliver a range of best-in-class solutions.

Role of 4G LTE devices in spearheading Govt. initiatives of Digital India and Smart Cities?

Building the 4G LTE device ecosystem in India will certainly help propel government programs like Digital India and Smart Cities. The capacity of 4G LTE to supply dynamic and scalable traffic management, as well as secure connections at lower costs, cannot be underestimated.

Smart cities are taking the lead in IoT development by integrating smart devices into all areas of modern living. Many of today’s IoT applications rely on Wi-Fi or mesh technologies to connect people and devices. However, 4G LTE is essential for IoT advancement, due to the growing number of IP-enabled devices that will require increased data capacity, and the robust interference management featured over cellular’s licensed spectrum. 4G networks, which can lodge up to 10 times more data traffic than older cellular technologies, are also perfectly equipped to handle the need for large scale data analytics and security.

Digital India plan of the government is to ensure easy accessibility of education, healthcare, and banking for all citizens. We can take an example of a rural health care centre which is in a remote area, and still can offer preliminary health test services. The patient result gets immediately backed up on a cloud using a LTE device. Now based on the test results the city-based hospital can get an alert for an emergency pick-up in order to provide immediate assistance. Further, every time this same patient makes a subsequent visit to the doctor, his/her entire medical history data can be pulled back out from the cloud using a LTE device, with just a quick swipe of fingerprint, or even with a blink of an eye using iris scanner built into the device.

What are the key technology trends you see in 4G LTE devices & Chipset in India?

Some of the popular trends we do see in devices for 2016 would include USB Type-C ports which will become more commonplace on smartphones, making it easier to plug your phone into its data cable or charger. On the connectivity front, 4G network capabilities will grow, and more operators will be available in India for users to choose from. More phones will have high-resolution screens, and more flagship smartphones will have to step up to at least Quad-HD or 4K resolution.

We expect smartphones, tablets and computers to adopt new form factors. It may be possible to fold your huge smartphone and put it away in your pocket, or bend it just as much as you like. Curved screens are also expected to become more common. This will allow for more variety in the designs and form factors of our devices. We can also expect slimmer designs. There is an increasing demand for slimmer phones, and manufacturers will do all they can to cater to it.

Virtual and augmented reality experiences are closer than ever. We do see this ‘buzz word’ gaining a lot of traction in India, though availability of the devices might still remain low.