Nokia has had some unpleasant experience in the past in India with its plant near Chennai being asked to be shut some years ago, but that was under the old management. The company is looking ahead with its Research & Development setup in Bangalore getting ready on the 5G mobile technology and much more.
The company had the Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge inaugurate a new R&D facility in Bangalore recently and it has announced that come 2018, they will be adding to the existing manpower engaged in the facility. Nokia has an existing headcount of around 6000, but the number the company hopes to recruit afresh have not been shared though. For the record, the R & D laboratory in India is Nokia’s fourth, with the other three being in Europe (2) and China (1).
The technologies the center in Bengaluru will work on will include the 5G mobile network architecture, VoLTE, cloud and big data analytics. Most leading telecom companies around the world hope to launch their 5G mobile technology by 2020, which will then replace 4G and users can expect voice, data and video traffic at much higher speeds than even the current top levels with this technology. According to Nokia, they are already engaged in collaborative research with 14 partners in the European Union on the 5G space, many of whom are in the industrial and academic research sectors.
The Nokia Bangalore spokesperson further disclosed that they have “also set up a dedicated 5G/IoT lab here to work on applications for smart cities and public safety, real-time city surveillance and smart parking".
In India, they have chosen to work closely with Bharti Airtel and the state-run BSNL who may be first beneficiaries of Nokia’s R & D work and will be able to convert to 5G as and when the backbone is ready. Going ahead, they expect the Bangalore facility to work on future technologies as they evolve and be of assistance to the mainstream industry.