Nokia to introduce dual-sim enabled mobile

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Chennai: Finnish handset-maker Nokia will soon introduce a `dual sim`-enabled mobile phone in the Indian market, a company official said on Thursday.

"We will be introducing the dual-sim phone very soon (in India). The new model would be produced at the Chennai facility," Nokia India Operations Director (Chennai Factory) Prakash Katama told reporters here.

Meanwhile, Nokia after entering India in 2006, has crossed the 500 million mobile phone manufacturing mark at its Chennai plant. The company, which set up its first plant at an investment of USD 150 million, began with producing basic handsets.

"In June, 2010, we crossed the 400 million mark and now we are proud to announce (that) 500 million mobile phones were manufactured from our facility," he said.

Stating that the company has so far made investments of USD 285 million at the factory as part of its expansion plans, he said they were very proud to cross the 500 million mark in a such a short duration, he said after unveiling the 500th million mobile phone, a Nokia-C3.

The company, which initially began with producing the basic 1100 model at the factory, currently manufactures 21 models at the plant, including QWERTY and touch models.

"This has become the largest mobile manufacturing site for Nokia. We have about 8,000 employees at our facility, with 70 per cent constituting women," he said.

The handsets manufactured at the facility range from basic to middle-end phones (priced up to Rs 7,000), he said.

The phones produced in India have a localisation level of 30 per cent and the company has about five component suppliers in the SEZ itself, he said.

On the 500th million mobile phone launched today, Nokia India Communications Director Poonam Kaul said their brand ambassador — Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan — signed the phone, which would be available for bidding by prospective buyers through an e-auction at www.nokia500million.com.

The winner would get the mobile phone personally signed by the actor himself, she said.

Asked on their restructuring plans, in which there could be about 300 job cuts in India, Katama later told PTI that 300 job cuts would be done in India by end of 2012. "It is likely to be minimal (in India)," he said.

About the proposal to manufacture a universal charger compatible to all mobile handsets, Nokia Communications Director Poonam Kaul said the proposal was "well on track".

"We are absolutely on track with that… That`s very much on plan.. It will be introduced in 2012," she said.

Nokia currently has 10 manufacturing facilities in nine countries. From the Chennai facility alone, Nokia exports to over 100 countries, which account for 50 per cent of production. In 2010, Nokia India reported revenues of Rs 25,000 crore.

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