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LTE manufacturing facility launching in Russia

Equipment giant Nokia Siemens Networks is set to establish an LTE manufacturing facility in Russia. To this end, the firm has signed partnership agreements with Rusnano, a state-owned nanotechnology specialist, as well as wireless equipment producer Micran and the Tomsk Oblast Administration – the facility is to be located in the Tomsk Special Economic Zone.

The involved parties were keen to stress the future benefits that the partnership will provide to local companies in terms of potential technology transfer. NSN also underlined that it is establishing itself in Russia for the long-term: the firm’s general director for Russia, Kristina Tikhonova, stated “We are working towards establishing all the building blocks in Russia, from R&D to localised production and support centres for our solutions.”

The firm’s commitment to Russia has become apparent over the last few months, with the announcement of several significant investments in the market. Among these is the planned establishment of a global network operations centre in the vicinity of Moscow, currently slated for Q2 2011.

In addition to this, NSN is also providing its support for the government initiative Skolkovo Innograd, which is aiming to establish a technology hub near Moscow. The firm faces competition in the LTE arena in Russia, with the conglomerate Rostekhnologii reportedly investigating a 4G equipment joint venture with vendors such as Huawei and Samsung; such a venture would presumably look to capitalise on Yota’s imminent rollout of national LTE infrastructure, which will be shared by the four largest operators in the country.

Although NSN has not laid out a timeframe, there are reports in the Russian media that the new facility will launch LTE equipment before the end of the year, with 2012 marking the launch of up to 10, 000 LTE base stations.

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