Ericsson and partners to set up R&D unit in Finland
The number of jobs in Oulu unit is expected to be more than 200
In cooperation with its partners, Ericsson - the Swedish provider of telecommunications equipment and related services to mobile and fixed network operators - plans to set up a research and product development unit in the area of radio technology in the City of Oulu in Northern Finland, according to information gathered by Helsingin Sanomat.
The aim is to launch the unit, which will employ more thant 200 people, early next year. Hiring employees will begin in the course of the autumn.
Radio technology in this context means the transfer of information from one location to another by using radio waves.
On Wednesday, Ericsson was unwilling to comment on the matter, but promised to release news on Thursday.
This is a significant victory for the City of Oulu, as there were numerous rivalling alternatives for the location of the unit available for Ericsson in various parts of the world.
Nokia Siemens Networks, a rival of Ericsson, has a R&D centre and a base station factory in Oulu, which each employ about 1,000 people.
Head of Corporate Development Office Pekka Soini of Nokia Siemens Networks is not aware of the project, but he finds it interesting.
”It crossed my mind that our recent launches have increased our lead particularly in wireless broadband technology, and the competitor has to do something. In Oulu, there is world-class expertise, specifically in radio technology”, Soini points out.
Soini does not fear that Ericsson and its partners could come and poach employees from Nokia Siemens Networks.
”We have very motivated employees with a lot of promotion possibilities in the large unit. I do not regard Ericsson’s arrival in Oulu as any significant threat for us”, Soini concludes.
In terms of sales volumes, Ericsson is considerably larger than Nokia Siemens Networks. As for the operating profit percentage, Ericsson is also much more profitable than its rival.
Moreover, Ericsson has a stronger position in the important growth markets like China and the United States.
Instead, when it comes to the fourth generation mobile telephone technology, Nokia’s network business is ahead of Ericsson, if measured by the number of concluded contracts.
The competition between the European network equipment manufacturers and their Chinese rivals has become increasingly keen.
Huawei, the largest network equipment company in China, receives financial support from the government, with the aid of which the company can make very low bids in competitive bidding.
The European companies - including Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Alcatel-Lucent - are all doing their best in order to increase their technical lead, which has been shrinking in recent years.
This is one reason why R&D units are set up in locations with the very best expertise.
Oulu has a lot of expertise in radio technology, as the University of Oulu increased the number of undergraduate study places in the 1990s.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Ericsson stretches its lead over Nokia Siemens Networks (25.10.2010)
Ericsson overtakes Nokia Siemens Networks on Indian market (1.4.2010)
Nokia Siemens Networks