Is Indian telecom market lacking too much? Nairobi to become research hub for Nokia emerging mobile markets

By Telecom Lead Team: Mobile major
Nokia is planning to make Nairobi as its global hub for research and investment
for the India, Middle East and Africa region. This will be a major loss for
India, one of the major markets for the wireless handset marker.


The move is a big win for Nairobi
which will serve as a nerve centre for Nokia’s global research activities,
bringing together application developers, businesses and software engineering
eco-system from around the world.


The company has research facilities
in 13 locations worldwide, and Nairobi will be its nerve centre.


This is not the first time that
Nokia India has missed big opportunities.


In January 2012, Nokia selected
Beijing as its Asia-Pacific headquarters in a bid to increase business
efficiencies and meet savings targets.


Nokia to shift Asia Pacific HQ to
Beijing from Singapore to reduce costs


The development signals Nokia’s
increasing presence in China, the number one telecom market in the world based
on mobile subscribers.


Recently, Nokia elevated its India
MD Shivakumar D as the head of India, Africa and the Middle East.


Nokia leads Indian mobile phone market
with 37% share


Indian mobile market is currently led by Nokia with 37.2 percent market share.
The Indian mobile handset market closed 2011 with an annual growth rate of 14.1
percent, achieving a total volume of 182 million handsets. The Indian handset
market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 10.7 percent during 2011-2017, with total
handset volume expected to reach 335 million units by 2017.


The Nairobi Nokia Research Center
(NRC) located at the Nairobi Business Park along Ngong Road previously served the
African region only.


There is advanced development
happening in Kenya. It is part of the reason why I am here. I am not visiting
the 54 countries in Africa. I am only visiting Kenya and South Africa,” said
CEO, Stephen Elop.


He was speaking during a round-table
meeting with the technology community in Kenya held at the iHub Nairobi, in
what is his first visit to Africa.


He highlighted the unique position
of Kenya as a technology leader in the region, and said that the country’s
track record in innovation informed the decision.


The news comes at a time when Nokia
has been in the midst of a global restructuring of its sales and marketing arm.


Nokia sales down 9 percent to EUR
38.65 billion in 2011


Nokia has reported 9 percent
decrease in sales (including Nokia devices, Nokia Siemens and location
business) at EUR 38.65 billion in 2011 compared with EUR 42.44 billion in 2010.
Q4 2011 sales were down by 21 percent to EUR 10 billion from EUR 12.65 billion.


In 2011, Nokia devices business
generated EUR 23.94 billion compared with EUR 29.13 billion in 2010. In Q4
2011, the turnover from devices was EUR 5.99 billion as compared with EUR 8.49


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