Agilent upbeat about Indian communications sector

CIOL Bureau
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KOLKATA: The Indian unit of network testing equipment major Agilent

Technologies Inc said on Friday the booming communications segment would help

reduce the impact of the US slowdown in India.


"We are more or less on an even keel here despite the slowdown, thanks

to the growing communications sector," Kewal Khanna, president of Agilent's

Indian operations, told Reuters in Calcutta. He did not elaborate.

The state-run Department of Telecommunications, the largest Indian fixed-line

service provider, and another state-run entity Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd.,

which provides basic phone services in New Delhi and Mumbai, are Agilent's


Several Indian cellular operators too are clients of Agilent, which also

makes microchips for wireless and networking infrastructure.

"Communications is a rapidly growing area in India and would pay rich

dividends for us in the next few years also," Khanna said.


Earlier this week, global research group Gartner forecast that India's

telecommunications and information technology industries would grow at a robust

pace over the next few years despite the US slowdown. Gartner forecast phone

line revenues in India would increase to $18.9 billion by 2005 from $6.7 billion

in 2000 while revenue from mobile phone operations would grow tenfold to $5.1

billion from $577 million.

Data services, which include revenues from Internet service providers, would

increase to $3.5 billion by 2004 from $577 million last year, Gartner said.

Agilent Technologies Inc earned a net revenue of $9.4 billion in 2000, a company

statement said.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.