Nokia, the renowned Finnish telecommunications company, has launched "Made in Bangladesh" smartphones, assembled in its factory in Kaliakair of Gazipur.
Farhan Rashid, head of business at HMD Global Bangladesh, on Thursday announced the launching of two models from Nokia's G-series – G10 and G20 – assembled in its new factory at the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City.
From HMD's partner Union Group, Managing Director Raquibul Kabir and Director Alvee Rana were present in the launching ceremony.
HMD Global Oy, branded as HMD and Nokia Mobile, is a Finnish mobile phone manufacturer who began marketing Nokia-branded smartphones and feature phones on 1 December 2016.
According to the officials concerned, smartphones from other series and even feature phones will also be produced in Bangladesh within the next month. The prices of the locally produced Nokia smartphones will be 30% cheaper compared to the imported handsets.
With Nokia joining the band, there are currently a total of 13 mobile brands that have factories in Bangladesh and are producing "Made in Bangladesh" smartphones.
Ravi Kunwar, general manager of Pan Asia, HMD Global, said, "Today is a memorable day for all of us. The past one and half year have no doubt been challenging, but it also gave us a moment to pause, think and prepare for the next big step. The launch of the Bangladeshi assembled handsets along with introduction of the factory is a milestone in our journey"
Alvee Rana from Union Group said, "Being a partner of a global brand like Nokia is a big honour for us. We have set up the factory following the European standards set by HMD Global.
The Bangladeshi handsets will help us gain more market share in the smartphone market as well as enable consumers to have more affordable handsets."
Farhan Rashid, head of Business at HMD Global of Bangladesh, said, "Launching handsets assembled in Bangladesh along with the introduction of the factory is a milestone for us."
"We may not be able to provide smartphones to the customer at a lower price but we can guarantee a good service," he added.
Earlier in March, Vibrant Software (BD) Ltd, a joint venture of UK based Vibrant Software and Bangladesh's Union Group, secured a provisional license from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) for manufacturing and assembling Nokia phones locally.
Even before, Vibrant Software (BD) Ltd signed a land lease agreement with Summit Technopolis Ltd – a subsidiary of Summit Group – to set up a mobile phone assembling plant along with two other facilities.
At that time, Vibrant Software (BD) Ltd stated that it had plans to invest around $40 million for setting up a factory and other infrastructure at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Gazipur.
However, it took more than three years to get the nod from the authority to build a two-storied Nokia smartphone assembling factory in Block-5 of Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City at Kaliakair, Gazipur.
The factory is equipped with advanced technology and multiple quality control systems, both automated and human-operated, to ensure the highest quality of finished products.
Initially, the factory will process 300 units of smartphones every day through six production lines of which four are for assembling and two for packaging. The plant is equipped with all the required infrastructure, including its testing laboratory and employs around 200 workers.
The local mobile handset manufacturing industry began its journey back in 2017 with Walton launching their production in Bangladesh. Since then, a total of 13 manufacturers have begun manufacturing here, including big smartphone brands like Samsung, Symphony, Oppo, Realme, and Xiaomi.
These brands are responsible for 85% of the local smartphone production and 55% of the local demand for both smartphones and feature phones.
According to the BTRC, the total number of phones manufactured and imported in the country in the fiscal year 2019-20 was 29.48 million units. Ten businesses produced 16.21 million units locally whereas 13.27 million were imported.
First Nokia phones assembled in Bangladesh
The first two models assembled by Nokia in Bangladesh are G10 and G20 and they have three-day battery life – the longest ever.
The retail price of the G10 model is Tk13,499 and G20 is Tk14,999.
The Nokia G20 is supported by the Android operating system with three years of monthly security updates and two years of OS updates. It has both face and side fingerprint unlocking systems, a 48MP camera, ample storage, and OZO surround-audio.
Both smartphones are made with Android 11. Anyone can respond to and control their conversations across multiple messaging apps, all in the same spot. In addition, customers will always get the latest features with two years of future updates.
Nokia G10 also has a triple rear camera and advanced imaging with AI-enhanced shooting modes.