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Nokia Mobile Phone Production Facility, India




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Nokia has chosen Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, Southern India, for its tenth mobile phone factory. The facility will cost up to $150m over three years, and will make entry-level, mid-level, and top-end GSM (Global System Mobile) and CDMA (Code division multiple access) handsets for the Indian market.

The plant is located at Sriperumbudur, about 50km west of Chennai, on an 85ha (210ac) plot.

Construction began in April 2005, and production in March 2006. Nokia is building up the factory gradually, with small quantities of a basic entry-level handset ironing out any initial production glitches. By the end of 2006, Nokia should have about 2,000 employees at the site.

"Nokia received state assistance after different Indian states competed against each other for the plant."

PRODUCTION STARTS WITH 1100 HANDSET

Nokia started production with its 1100 handset, which has in-built flashlight and is aimed at the Indian market. The 1100 accesses calling, messaging, and menu functions across a navi key silicon keymat.

Up to four lines of text messaging are shown on a two-way scroll display showing 96x65 pixel black-and-white images. Font size is selectable and an internal phone book stores up to 50 entries.

There is vibration alert, date and time screensaver, and a reminder function. Several other functions are built in, including alarm, stopwatch and countdown timer.

Nokia's CDMA phones include the 6235, which captures and views images with an integrated VGA camera and video recorder. It connects to the internet via a WAP 2.0 browser to share images, or for news and entertainment. It also allows features like voice recording for ringtones.

The company is expanding mobile voice and data capabilities across a wide range of mobile devices. Nokia primarily targets high-volume mobile phones and devices based on GSM / EDGE, 3G / WCDMA and CDMA global cellular technologies.

Increasingly, products are including megapixel cameras, music players and advanced-quality colour screens.

NEARLY TWO BILLION SUBSCRIBERS WORLDWIDE

The world's mobile subscriber base is now running at around two billion. Sales in Asia Pacific will take a growing share, and India is a central location for production. There are already around 100 million wireless customers in India, with yearly sales rising to nearly 50 million.

The Indian Government expects telecom manufacturing to soon hit $1bn. Nokia leads with nearly 50% of the country's $2.5bn handset market, followed by companies like Samsung, LG Electronics and Motorola.

Manufacturing capacity in the country is rising, with Elcoteq starting manufacturing in Bangalore shortly before Nokia made its own announcement.

A SKILLED LOCAL LABOUR FORCE

The whole complex is being constructed by Leighton Contractors (India) in a $35m contract. A 23,000m² steel-framed building houses the two major production halls as well as offices, warehouses and locker areas. Leighton is supplying electrical, air-conditioning, water treatment and sewerage infrastructure. It will also build associated roads and car parks.

"The facility will make entry-level, mid-level, and top-end GSM and CDMA handsets for the Indian market."

Chennai has a skilled labour force, with support from the state government and good logistics connections. Nokia received state assistance after different Indian states competed against each other for the plant.

The company is also trying to persuade its suppliers to set up in India to simplify logistics, and the plant itself will have units reserved for suppliers. They will supply components like keypads, covers and other plastic and metal parts.

Nokia's regional corporate headquarters are located at Alexandra Technopark in Singapore. Nokia Mobile Phones manufactures products out of three major facilities in Masan, Korea, and Beijing and Dongguan in China.

There are R&D centres in Japan and China, and an industrial park in Xingwang (Beijing) with R&D and manufacturing facilities. Nokia Networks has technology and training centres in Australia, Japan and Thailand, as well as six joint ventures in China.

Nokia reports that total investment in a facility in China that similar to the Chennai plant has reached over $1bn over seven years.