MediaTek, world’s leading Fabless semiconductor company, is growing very fast, thanks to increasing demand for Smartphones and Tablets. In an interview with Ashish Sharma and Pankaj Gujral of TelecomTiger, Finbarr Moynihan, GM, International Sales & Marketing, MediaTek shares his views about the industry trends and the market. Excerpts:
Q. MediaTek has been registering an increase of more than 150% in its revenues during early months of 2014 compared to the corresponding period in 2013. What is the reason for this kind of jump in revenues?
A. I believe it is the transition from 2G to 3G. There is a significant demand for smart phones, tablets from all over the world. We have seen this transition in big markets like China and India this year. Now more and more consumers are buying smart phones and tablets.
We talked about the emergence of supermarket and that’s where we see the market for mobile phone devices growing in the next few years. As more and more consumers join middle class with higher purchasing power, there is going to be a need and desire to purchase more devices. This is the reason for MediaTek’s good performance last year.
Q. Which is the biggest market for MediaTek?
A. If we talk about Smartphone, China is probably the biggest market for us. In 2012 – 2013, we saw big transitions. I have observed that other markets are also now moving from feature phones to smart phones. This will hold true for India also. My personal feeling is that in India there is a big appetite for Smart phones. We’ll see a lot more products in market like India.
Q. Experts say that M2M (machine to machine) is the future of industry. In the recent Mobile World Congress, it was a big issue. What is your view on M2M? What is the status of technology development?
A.I believe the definition of M2M is also broadening. In the past, we have the traditional definition of M2M connectivity and was based on cellular connectivity. I think, the broader definition people are using now is the Internet of Things (IoT). It is about things being connected to the Internet. Some of the connections may be for cellular, WiFi or other type of Internet.
There are more devices like wearable, home automation, fitness trackers that will keep you all introducing to this expansion of IoT, which I think will be significantly larger in scale than the traditional cellular M2M market.
MediaTek has already announced one of our IoT platforms you may have seen, earlier this week. Android is also now announced on our platform for wearable and we are very much particular with them in terms of driving that ecosystem. So, from the platform perspective you can see quite a lot of activities going on. MediaTek is again one of those companies that have the necessary technology to be a strong player in the industry. Not just from our feature phones, Smartphones, Android platform, but with cellular connectivity, WiFi, renewable energy, GPS MediaTek has all the technology.
Q. What is your opinion about Indian handset brands? Are they of good quality? What should they do to compete with the MNCs?
A. Yes, absolutely. We are partner to many Indian brands for many years. Indian market is growing very fast. Domestic brands are taking a larger share of the market every month, every quarter. So, it seems to grow. The market is expanding from feature phone to smartphone; 2G to 3G. Domestic brands are launching phones of all varieties - from entry level smartphones to high-end smartphones. These companies have done credible work.
Q. Are you planning to launch Chipsets on Windows OS phones?
A. It is clear that Windows OS is going to be the part of the ecosystem of smart devices. But we haven’t made any plans for this year.
Q. When can we expect the LTE enabled handsets on MediaTek’s chipsets?
A. We have made a number of announcements on our LTE (4G) plans over the last couple of months, since we last met. In January, we announced our LTE solutions. Recently in the Mobile World Congress (MWC), we made announcement about the range of new SoC. We are planning for (PeM), for mainstream, for mid-high, all range of LTE capability.
You will see more and more roll out of LTE enabled handsets from MediaTek’s customers in second half of this year.
China’s LTE market is also important. The TDD-LTE activism that we are doing for China has the relevance to Indian market as well. Later this year or early next year we can see LTE enabled handsets in the India market.