In a recent development, Nokia, the renowned Finnish telecommunications company, has made a significant commitment to manufacturing fiber-optic broadband electronics products and optical modules within the United States. This decision comes as part of President Biden’s ambitious Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which aims to provide high-speed internet access to communities nationwide that currently lack access or are underserved.
Nokia’s resolution to manufacture within the US is in line with the President’s economic strategy, as the company intends to establish manufacturing operations domestically, even if it means potentially higher costs compared to outsourcing to countries with cheaper labor. Despite the associated expenses, this move is expected to bring about substantial benefits, such as stimulating economic growth, creating employment opportunities, and addressing the issue of digital inequality across the country.
To facilitate this manufacturing initiative, Nokia has joined forces with Sanmina Corporation. Together, they will manufacture fiber-optic broadband electronics products at Sanmina’s advanced facility in Pleasant Prairie, located in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. The manufacturing process is set to commence in 2024, and it is projected to generate up to 200 new jobs within Wisconsin. Nokia becomes the first major telecommunications company to participate in the BEAD program’s manufacturing operations within the United States.
Fiber-optic networks, which utilize cutting-edge technology to transmit data through thin strands of glass via light, are of paramount importance in the digital economy. They provide fast and reliable gigabit data services. Nokia is a leading player in this field, with an impressive 70% market share in North America for fiber broadband lines that rely on Nokia equipment. Through their XGS-PON technology, capable of delivering impressive broadband speeds of up to 10 Gbps, Nokia solidifies its position as the top supplier of fiber-optic broadband technology for US service providers.
Beyond purely business reasons, Nokia’s decision to manufacture broadband electronics products within the US exemplifies the company’s commitment to connecting people and communities. Pekka Lundmark, Nokia’s President and CEO, emphasizes that many Americans still lack sufficient connectivity, which hinders their access to essential services like work, education, and healthcare. To address this issue, the BEAD program has allocated a considerable budget of $42.45 billion for broadband rollouts. Its aim is to bridge the digital divide and ensure that reliable, high-speed internet access reaches every corner of America.
By actively participating in initiatives like BEAD and manufacturing technology within the US, Nokia greatly contributes to the nation’s economic growth and job creation. Furthermore, the company plays a vital role in supplying crucial products and services that drive connectivity and close the digital gap.