Namaste Moto

Motorola’s resurgence has moved eastwards – to India. The company is finally trying to make a strong push and capture a bigger portion of the fast growing Indian cellular market. Over pst few years, it has been such an also ran, miles behind Nokia, Samsung and LG – that it is no surprise that no one took them seriously. But things changed this week. Earlier, the company teamed up with one of the sister companies of Bharti Telecom, in an effort to get better distribution in the Indian hinterlands.

Today the company announced a series of new handsets, including world premiere of “L6”, a candy stick version of the Moto RAZR. (Sweet looking phone!) According to my reports, the demand for RAZR is so strong right now, that the phone is now commanding upwards of $300. It also set-up a manufacturing (read assembly plant) in India. This is all adding up to the main event: Motorola’s bid for upcoming upgrades of the BSNL, a state-owned network.

Bidding for this network could get fierce since Huawei is pretty much out of the process over security concerns. Ericsson is the other likely bidder for this massive build-out project. Whether it will make any money for Motorola remains to be seen. Ask Nortel, which is seemingly trying to back out of a money losing deal with the company. (Ironically, Sunil Mittal, who started Bharti Telecom, wants government to divest from BSNL and estimates it at $30 billion. Of course he wants to make this as his bid for the prime minister’s office in the near future.)