“India plays an important role to us as we have largest development centres here,” Finnish gear maker’s chief operating officer Monika Maurer told ET. “If you look at capacity in terms of R&D capabilities in Chennai and Bangalore, they are the largest. These are most important ones for us.”
“On behalf of the development of the future technology, which we are going to deliver to the market not just today but tomorrow, these India facilities help us drive the market,” she added.
Maurer, who took charge as the COO of the company in mid March, said the India telecom market is very dynamic. “The market speaks for itself in India… we have long experience in working with key operators here, and we are excited to see full-fledged wireless focus now,” she added.
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The India telecom market, she said, is now opening up in terms of demand and appetite for newer technologies, and for Nokia’s full technology portfolio, including fixed line and IP & Optics.
“The wireless focus continues to prepare the market for next generation technology and for 5G… that’s exciting for us, and we will further strengthen our position,” she said.
Rebalancing for growth strategy
Talking about the company’s rebalancing strategy for growth, Maurer said Nokia will remain focused on its classic service provider business, besides expanding into adjacent market segments.
“We are now focusing on verticals like web-scale…we are also expanding our capabilities in the fixed networks domain by entering into the cable segment. There are multiple areas,” she said.
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Software: A key pillar
Maurer also added that software being a standalone business is one of the key pillars of this strategy. “Software is being more and more important for us. In India, in terms of development centre, it’s playing a very important role because a lot of that happening in Bangalore,” she explained.
On competition, she said that the real advantage Nokia has as compared to its competition is that it now offers a full end- to- end portfolio, which competitors can’t offer.
Nokia on Tuesday said it has begun the manufacturing of its 5G-ready multiband base station in its Chennai facility, and will start shipping the product to some global customers by next week.
The Chennai factory, established in 2008, is Nokia’s biggest production unit. It has doubled production in two years to around 4 million base stations in 2017.
(The reporter was in Chennai at the invitation of Nokia.)