Finnish-German tech firm Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is preparing to double the size of its P2-billion research & development facility in Quezon City as the expansion of mobile networks around the world raises demand for better technology.
The expansion of the NSN facility in the Philippines comes after job cuts involving several thousand employees in other countries as the company seeks to streamline operations.
NSN last year reduced its workforce by 15,000 employees to 60,000, but officials in a recent briefing said there had been talks of doubling its presence in the Philippines.
“The R&D facility here already has 400 employees. It should be 460 by the end of the quarter because we just opened a new floor. It’s definitely expanding this year,” NSN Asia South Sub-Region head John Lancaster-Lennox said.
“There’s talk of doubling the size. We don’t know how long that would take but that’s the direction we are taking,” he said.
Lancaster-Lennox said the NSN group was focused on supporting the rollout of third- and fourth-generation or 3G and 4G wireless technologies of telcos around the world. These are the main platforms used today to deliver high-speed wireless Internet and connectivity services by phone firms around the world.
Employees at the R&D facility, dubbed as NetworkLabs, work on developing new technologies that support advancements in 3G and 4G.
“We want to remain leaders in those areas globally so we need to invest a lot in R&D,” Lennox-Lancaster said. “We employ a lot of good engineers that do lots of coding,” he added.
He said with telcos around the world, including the Philippines’ Smart Communications and Globe Telecom, already starting to rollout their own 4G long-term evolution (LTE) networks, NSN had diverted its focus to developing “advanced LTE,” which would again raise the amount of data that could be sent wirelessly to mobile devices.
In theory, this will involve the pooling of bandwidth delivered on separate radio frequencies—a feat currently impossible using commercially available telco equipment and consumer devices.