SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Nokia Siemens Networks aims to supply more than a third of Brazil’s nascent fourth-generation (4G) wireless network, the head of its Latin American board said on Wednesday.
As Brazilian regulator Anatel wrapped up its first auction of 4G licenses, the regional chairman of Nokia Siemens, Aluizio Byrro, said the company wants a piece of the new market that is in line with its more than 35 percent share of the 3G market.
“We don’t want to let go of a single percentage point,” Byrro said in an interview, citing the company’s growing focus on Latin America, which contributes over 10 percent of revenue.
Byrro said Nokia Siemens is in talks with a local partner to start producing 4G equipment in Brazil by September to help wireless operators establish coverage in host cities for the 2014 Soccer World Cup.
New requirements that equipment be Brazilian-made also spurred the rush to manufacture locally, he said.
“We have been studying the possibility of producing in Brazil for some time and the conditions have improved quite a bit recently,” Byrro said, saying the company was holding off a decision about setting up a local factory.
“The next big challenge is to also make Brazilian production competitive enough to export.”
Nokia Siemens is a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens AG, formed to compete with dominant industry suppliers such as Ericsson, which has said it expects 4G networks to cover half the world by 2017.
But Nokia Siemens has struggled and announced a wave of staff cuts globally over the past year, including a 3,500-person layoff in Latin America following the end of a large services deal in the region.
Writing by Brad Haynes; editing by Andre Grenon