Chinese infrastructure vendor Huawei said it will invest EUR70 million in a new research and development facility in Finland, focusing on software development for mobile devices.
The “strategic, long-term investment” will take place over five years, with Huawei estimating that the R&D centre will grow to as many as 100 employees from an initial 30.
The R&D centre will be located within striking distance of Nokia facilities where several thousand jobs are being cut. Huawei is therefore in a good position to recruit R&D talent no longer employed by the former handset number one.
Initial projects will focus on optimising the user experiences on Android and Windows Phone 8 devices. The investment will boost Huawei’s global R&D headcount to more than 70,000.
“The open and innovative environment in Finland is an ideal place for Huawei to strengthen our global R&D capabilities for devices, creating opportunities for both Huawei and the Finnish telecommunications industry,” said Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei VP for Central, Eastern and Nordic Europe.
The company said the investment also reflects the companies “deep and long-term commitment” to Europe. A Huawei spokesman told Mobile World Live that the company is aiming to employ more than 14,000 people in the region within the next three to five years – more than double its current European headcount.
The R&D facility in Finland will join an established modem and technology design centre in Sweden and a user interface centre in the UK. In September, Huawei also announced a US$2 billion investment in R&D, local procurement and centre of excellence initiatives in the UK.
Separately, it was announced yesterday that Huawei has won a managed services contract with Hutchison-owned 3UK. The Chinese firm is taking the job over from Ericsson (which has been managing 3’s UK network since 2005) and the deal will come as a relief to Huawei after setbacks in European and US markets this year.