Jerusalem Post, March 4, 2001
Nokia making 3G push in Israel
Nokia Networks, or more precisely, Nokia Israel Communications
Ltd., set up shop in Rosh Ha'ayin just over a year ago.
"We have gone from zero to 40 employees in the past
year, and once we get an infrastructure deal this will double,
to between 80 and 100 within three to four months," general
manager Lars Wolf said in an interview with The Jerusalem
"The policy is to be as local as possible, because you
have to work very, very closely with the customers and there
are language issues. There are some people who don't want
to speak English and would like to speak Hebrew. This is very
important and is one of my targets, to really localize the
Israeli office." Today almost half of the staff is Israeli.
All parts of the global giant are interested in Israel.
"We are really focusing on Israel from all perspectives,
because we have an internal project called 'Project Israel'
which means we are looking at Israel from a networks perspective,
from the perspective of Nokia Ventures Organization, and also
from the perspective of Nokia Research Center [that is part
of the head office]," said Wolf.
Nokia Venture Partners, a branch of Nokia Ventures Organization,
launched a new $500 million fund in December and allowed that
a "disproportionate" amount of it would go into
Israeli companies. Nokia Research Center is on the lookout
for Israeli start-ups with which it can cooperate. And, of
course, Nokia Networks is looking to sell its infrastructure
in a country whose cellular penetration has reached 70%.
"Our goal in Israel is to become the leader in Internet
Protocol mobility, [as well as] core, radio and broadband
access for networks," said Wolf. "You can imagine
for yourself who are the customers." "On the network
side, we have a developed market and strong operators we would
like to cooperate with. There is a real business opportunity
here for 3G."