Nokia Chennai Plant crosses 2-mn units milestone

Telecom gear maker Nokia Networks said production of network components at its plant in Chennai had crossed over 2 million units.

"After nearly seven years in operation, Nokia Networks' Chennai factory has reached a major milestone. The facility has manufactured over two million components for telecommunications networks of which about a quarter have been used for 4G technology," the company said in a statement.

Operations at the Oragadam plant near Chennai, of Finland-based Nokia Networks started in 2008. The company had invested about Rs 500 crore in the plant which makes mobile broadband products for advanced technologies such as LTE in domestic and global markets.

The products produced include Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations, system modules and filters as also core and transport network elements.

"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." Nokia Networks, vice president and head of India market, Sandeep Girotra said.

"We will remain strongly focused on manufacturing excellence through quality and innovation, providing operators with best-in-class mobile broadband equipment..", he said.

Nokia Networks said that its manufacturing plant in Chennai had the capability to make 5G network equipment, but at present the company was 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.

On 8 May NTT Docomo and Nokia had 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.

"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," Girotra said.

He added, 50 per cent products produced at the plant were shipped overseas.

In April 2013, Microsoft struck a deal to acquire Nokia's handsets business globally.

Subsequently at the time of the deal being concluded in april 2014, the Chennai plant was excluded from the sale due to tax disputes and a court bar against its disposal (See: Nokia completes deal with Microsoft sans Chennai plant).