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Wipro: Ready for tomorrow

Sep 4, 2001

Wipro is one of the very few Indian software companies that offer a complete Bluetooth solution set. The company’s offerings include Bluewave Hardware Baseband Controller, Bluewave Software Baseband Controller and Bluewave Software Protocol Stack. For an introduction to Bluetooth please follow this link

While the Bluewave Hardware Baseband Controller Core is provides a configurable interface to a standard Bluetooth radio module, the Bluewave software Baseband Controller is a C source code implementation of the Bluetooth baseband functionality. The software baseband controller offers a flexible software implementation of the baseband functionality for quick prototyping. The software protocol stack is a portable software that offers support for multiple operating systems and includes the first thirteen profiles as defined by the Bluetooth specification.

Wipro recently became the second company in the world to have all thirteen Bluetooth profiles (Version 1.1) with product qualification status from the Bluetooth Qualification Body (BQB). The Bluetooth Qualification Program (BQP) is important because successful qualification implies assured interoperability with different solutions and vendors as well as complete standard conformance. The Bluetooth Specification for particular services, applications and use scenarios, specifies Bluetooth application profiles. The risk of interoperability problems between two different vendors' products is diminished if both conform to the same 'Profile' specification.

With the profiles, Wipro completes qualification for its entire suite of Bluetooth offerings, adding to its previous qualification of its BlueWave baseband controller and software stack, which had been qualified in April 2001. The company now plans to get into newer profiles like Hands Free Car Profile, HID (Human Interface Devices), PAN (Personal Area Networking) qualified in the near future.

Wipro’s solutions in this area includes Intellectual Property (IP) building blocks with a suite of hardware and embedded design services that can be seamlessly integrated into the customer's design. The Bluetooth IPs can be plugged into any design be it a complex system-on-chip (SoC) or an embedded subsystem. Wipro competitive advantage lies in the fact that the company not only provides a complete set of Bluetooth IP solutions but can also leverage its embedded design capabilities to give the customers an end-to-end solution. Such design services are supported by the company’s strategic alliances with ARM and Symbian, as well as with library vendor Artisan and foundry partner TSMC.

Wipro has set for it self to become one of the top ten technology companies in the world. In 1QFY02, 52% of Wipro Technologies’ (Global IT services business) revenues came from the R&D group. The most dominant practice from the R&D group was that of telecom and Internet working. The practice contributed 30% to the revenues of Wipro Technologies. The contribution of embedded systems and Internet access was a 19%. The telecom and embedded practices have shown a marginal decline in revenues (QoQ) in 1QFY02, this was largely due to the fact that Wipro did not compromise on its billing rates. Infact for the first quarter of FY02 the company managed a sequential rise in billing rates of 3.4% for onsite projects and 2.6% for offshore work.

R&D group (Rs m) 4QFY01 1QFY02 Change
Telecom and Internet working 1,603 1,563 -2%
Embedded systems and Internet access 1,034 990 -4%
Telecom and Internet Service provider practice 155 156 1%
Total 2,792 2,709 -3%

At the current market price of Rs 1,416 the stock is trading at a P/E multiple of 40 times its 1QFY02 annualised earnings. No doubt low liquidity of the stock is to a certain extent responsible for the high valuations. But the real reason behind the valuations is the company technology focus that gives it the edge above its competitors. The valuations are likely to remain stable unless the sector has a whole undergoes a re-rating.

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