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Nokia pumps more research dollars into China

The handset giant is putting in place ambitious plans to tap the Chinese research community and steps up its focus on the Code Division Multiple Access standard.

Cell phone handset maker Nokia has announced plans to boost its research investments in China, as it continues to step up its focus on the Code Division Multiple Access standard for cell phones.

The company on Friday said its plans in China include creating a new postdoctoral program, a division for open standards and technology localization, and a research and development center for CDMA technology. CDMA is the most popular standard used in cell phones in the United States, but many countries in the Asia-Pacific region also have begun to embrace it.

The company's postdoctoral program, which received approval from the Chinese ministry of personnel, will tap Chinese researchers to work on various technologies, such as Asian user interfaces, Chinese mobile applications, and third-generation and Internet Protocol Version 6 equipment.

The proposed Nokia unit for open standards and technologies will work closely with the Chinese academic and developer communities. Through the existing Forum Nokia program, the developer community will contribute to the standardization and licensing of Nokia Series 60 and Java technologies. In addition, the number of Chinese universities that are working on technology for the Symbian mobile operating system will rise to 10 from the existing five, Nokia said.

To tap a growing CDMA market in China, the company plans to open a new CDMA research facility for developing and providing software and technical input to cell phone operators in the country. The center, the second that Nokia has opened in Asia in less than one month, will debut in June. The company opened a CDMA center in Mumbai, India, at the end of April.

The handset maker also has plans to increase design and production of mobile phones at its Beijing-based Nokia Product Creation Center. About 40 percent of the company's global Mobile Phones business group handsets will soon be designed and developed at this center, Nokia said.

Nokia already has a large-scale presence in China, with four production and five research facilities. Its Beijing Product Creation Center was behind the design and development of some of the company's more successful handset models, such as the N2100 and the N6108.