Nokia Says Chennai Plant Has Potential to Make 5G Network Equipment
Telecom equipment maker Nokia Networks on Wednesday said that its manufacturing plant in Chennai has capability to make 5G network equipment, but at present the company is focussed on firming up technical standards.
“We are involved in the process of standardisation of 5G network and we will decide closer to the date from which country and plant we should produce those products. Chennai plant is also an option,” Nokia Networks’ Vice-President of Manufacturing Operations Karl Kirschenhofer told reporters in Chennai.
According to him, Chennai plant has the capability to produce the 5G network equipment.
Nokia and NTT DoCoMo on May 8, have agreed to collaborate on research and standardisation of 5G technologies and to work jointly on a 5G proof of concept system.
“Our Chennai facility is a world-class factory similar to our global factories and make cost-efficient deliveries possible to operators around the globe including the US and Europe,” Kirschenhofer said.
Nokia Networks said its plant in India has crossed a milestone of production of two million units of telecom equipment. Finland-based Nokia Networks began operations in 2008 at Oragadam near Chennai and invested about Rs. 500 crores. The plant produces mobile broadband products for advanced technologies such as LTE in domestic and global markets.
Some of the products produced include Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations, system modules and filters as well as core and transport network elements.
“After nearly seven years in operation, Nokia Networks’ Chennai factory has reached a major milestone. The facility has manufactured over two million components for telecom networks of which about a quarter have been used for 4G technology,” Nokia Networks, Vice President and Head of India market, Sandeep Girotra said.
Girotra added, “We are proud to have reached the two million milestone in our Chennai factory. It is a great testimony to India’s potential in electronic manufacturing and the company is a key pioneer supporting the government’s Make in India campaign… We will remain strongly focused on manufacturing excellence through quality and innovation, providing operators with best-in-class mobile broadband equipment”
According to him, 50 percent products produced at the plant are shipped overseas.
Besides this, Kirschenhofer said that Nokia has plans to more than double local sourcing of components for equipment that it makes at its Chennai plant to 45 per cent from 20 per cent at present.
“We want to increase the localisation levels to 45 percent,” he said.
To a query, he said Nokia Networks’ India would work as an independent unit until there was clear signal in integration with Alcatel-Lucent was received from global headquarters.
Nokia had announced acquisition of French firm Alcatel-Lucent in an all-stock deal valued at EUR 15.6 billion ($16.6 billion). The merger will create the world’s largest supplier of equipment that powers mobile-phone networks, surpassing Ericsson and Huawei.
On the other hand, Nokia India which accounted for a majority share in country’s handset manufacturing segment has suspended its operations at its Chennai factory since November last year and is making effort to sell-off the plant. It is involved in legal tussle with the Income tax department.
The IT Department says Nokia India and Nokia Corporation owe Rs. 21,153 crores as total tax liability, including penalty, for the seven-year period from 2006 to 2013