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ITI to make CDMA equipment

By Our Staff Reporter

— Photo: K.Bhagya

Joe. F. Zhou, (Left) Vice President, ZTE Corporation, exchanging the licence agreement file with Preetam Singh, Additional Director, Projects and Planning, in the presence of ITI CMD, V. K. Pandey, in Bangalore on Tuesday.

BANGALORE AUG. 5. ITI, the Bangalore-based telecom equipment company, has concluded a technology transfer deal with a Chinese company, which will allow ITI to manufacture CDMA (code division multiple access) network equipment. The agreement was signed by Preetam Singh, Additional Director, Projects and Planning, ITI, and Joe F. Zhou, Vice President, ZTE Corporation, here on Tuesday.

So far, ITI has been assembling and selling the equipment from ZTE, a Chinese telecom major. ITI now gets the knowhow to build the equipment here, at its Bangalore plant.

The `value added', made-in-ITI equipment will help bring the company back to profitability, says V. K. Pandey, ITI's Chairman. ITI recorded a loss of Rs. 375 crores last financial year. The company has existing orders for Rs. 1500 crores. That figure is expected to go up to Rs. 2500 crores, this year, "If some tenders come through," he said.

ITI will pay a 5 per cent royalty on value added products made and sold here, as per the agreement. The company will also make milestone payments, for the technology transfer.

The company has not had much luck in selling its products to private operators. Its major customers have been BSNL and MTNL. `Once we start making the equipment here we would like to change that situation," Mr. Pandey said. Existing tenders in which ITI is participating include supply of equipment for a 800 k line for MTNL, and a 745 k line for BSNL. ITI might get its share of these orders, Mr. Pandey said.

PTI reports:

To close Rae Bareilly plant

Battered by huge losses, ITI said it planned to close down the Rae Bareilly plant soon, having a workforce of 5,000 and offer VRS to at least 3,500 to 4000 employees in the current financial year.

Mr. Pandey said 11,000 employees of the total workforce of 19,000 had been identified as `surplus' and that various options were being explored to cut staff. He said the company, in a bid to reduce the workforce, was thinking of various options such as VRS, retrenchment, redeployment and lowering of retirement age. Excess staff was the main reason for the company's huge losses, Mr. Pandey added. He said a sum of Rs. 150 crores would be needed to fund the VRS, adding that the Government had assured to give ITI the go ahead to float bonds to raise the money. The Chairman said one of the two plants in Bangalore would also have to be closed down. The company had seven plants, he added.

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