Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies has started work on a new global research and development (R&D) center in India, as part of its US$2 billion, five-year investment plan in the country.
The Times of India reported Monday that despite uncertainties in the country's telecom sector, the company's revenue there increased by 20 percent in 2011 to US$1.5 billion, according to Huawei India CEO Cai Liqun. Given the growth, it made the decision to invest US$2 billion in India over the next five years, the report added.
Costing US$150 million, the new global R&D center in Bangalore is set to become operational by June 2013 and house more than 5,000 staff, the Times of India reported.
According to Cai, the global technology center (GTEC) will focus on providing technical support to clients globally. Huawei has two other centers in India--a global service resource center (GSRC) and a global network operations center (GNOC).
"We have GTECs in China, but this will be the first outside China. Indians have the language advantage as well as technology, [and] that is what we want to capitalize through this center," the executive said.
The Huawei India CEO also acknowledged the challenges faced by the telecom industry in India. "I think 2012 will be a tough year for the whole telecom industry in India because the [country's] policy is not clear. Operators are waiting for licenses. This period will see no major investment but, after all this is solved, we are confident of the Indian market."
Of its US$1.5 billion revenue generated in India, US$1.2 billion came from its network business driven by operators' 3G deployments and network expansion. The remaining US$300 million came from devices including handsets, dongles and set-top boxes, the report said.
While Cai declined to reveal the company's targeted revenue for 2012, he said Huawei is eyeing India's 4G, or long-term evolution (LTE), market for business contracts. The company has already deployed Bharti Airtel's 4G LTE network in Bangalore, it added.