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Nokia starts production at 5G-ready base station near Chennai

15 November 2017

Finnish telecom products maker Nokia has begun manufacturing at its 5G-ready 'AirScale' multiband base station in India from its facility at Oragadam near Chennai. The company said it will start shipping the product to global customers by next week.

Monika Maurer, COO,Nokia  

The multiband base station supports advanced network features such as carrier aggregation, 4x4 Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) and 8x4 beamforming, allowing service providers to make performance increases in their 4G networks and prepare for the evolution to 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

While production has begun at its plant in Finland, the Orgadam plant will take a major portion of the mass production. The product has been built in a way that it supports existing networks like 2G, 3G and 4G and when 5G comes, the service provider is only required to update their software, the company said.

Set up in 2008, the facility is Nokia's biggest production unit, serving both domestic and global markets. "India plays such a key role for Nokia with this plant, our global development centres and R&D centres. Our employees are in the heart of technology development and this helps to drive the market," said Monika Maurer, Nokia's chief operating officer.

Maurer, who was one of the founders of Nokia's research and development center in Chennai, said the company's focus now is not only to further leverage the ecosystem in the chain, but to also transform the supply chain.

"We are leading supply chain 4.0 and are rolling out several initiatives towards this transformation," she said.

''India plays an important role to us as we have largest development centres here,'' Finnish gear maker's chief operating officer Maurer futher said. ''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.''

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 said.

At 3.8 million units, the Orgadam facility has nearly doubled its production from 2 million units 2 years ago.

With 1500 employees, Maurer said that the company would not just invest in human resources, but in capabilities and technologies. With an ecosystem of partners and suppliers in the state, Maurer said the Oragadam facility has built itself into a flagship unit.

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