As India is looking to make inroads for the fifth-generation (5G) network technology, many Chinese smartphone companies are now eyeing the manufacturing space to get a foothold in 5G equipment and devices in the Indian market. Premium smartphone maker OnePlus has joined fellow BBK Electronics company Oppo in announcing a new 5G technology lab in India.
OnePlus says it will double its research and development employee base in India to 600. OnePlus India general manager Vikas Agarwal told ET that the current facility is small with 300 engineers but the company is in an expansion phase. “Once we double up the facility in size and employee and have resources in place, we will be getting very big on 5G,” he added.
Further, OnePlus is also planning to increase its R&D employee base to 1000 by 2022. In India, the company has established its 5G R&D base at Hyderabad. The centre helps in the manufacturing of 5G smartphones in India which are eventually shipped to the US. Agarwal noted that the Hyderabad hub will also support the manufacturing of 4G and 5G smartphones which will be shipped to Europe from Indian facilities.
To ramp up 5G operations in the country, OnePlus has recently hired around 80 IIT engineers who are expected to joining OnePlus in the next quarter.
Besides OnePlus, OPPO has also recently laid out its plans to open a similar 5G R&D lab at Hyderabad. Recently, OPPO claimed that it has successfully conducted a WhatsApp call on 5G at its Hyderabad centre. The company also displayed the 5G band and speed at the centre.
Owned by Chinese conglomerate BBK Electronics, OnePlus and OPPO also share some manufacturing facilities in India.
OnePlus Says No Impact From Coronavirus
With most manufacturing plants in China on a near-complete shutdown because of the coronavirus outbreak, the shortage of finished products, especially smartphones, has started to impact major smartphone markers across the world.
However, OnePlus claims that it is “well-stocked up”. Agarwal added OnePlus doesn’t see any disruption and any supply chain issue. “The situation may be different for other brands,” he added.
Earlier, OPPO’s Indian head Elvis Zhou has also said that the situation is under control. He also had predicted that everything will come to normal in a matter of weeks.