Nokia aims for service

Nokia is setting up a specialist maintenance centre in Dubai to help train local channel partners to deal with more sophisticated multimedia phones it is launching in the region next year.

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By  Peter Branton Published  December 3, 2003

Nokia is setting up a specialist maintenance centre in Dubai to help train local channel partners to deal with more sophisticated multimedia phones it is launching in the region next year.

The centre, dubbed "Service City", is being set up in partnership with Al Bannai Group, which has invested AED 15 million in the project. Located in Al Rashidiya near Dubai International Airport, 'Service City' employs over 100 staff and will be responsible for specialised maintenance across 11 Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait.

The facilities at 'Service City' include a regional repair factory and a competence centre to carry out handset analysis and high-end service solutions. The regional training centre will train selected Middle East technicians from Nokia distributors in the region.

"Being chosen by Nokia to manage a world-class mobile maintenance, training and analysis centre for the region is a massive coup for Al Bannai Group; it also reflects Nokia's commitment to the Middle East," said Faisal Al Bannai, CEO of Al Bannai Group, at the press conference announcing the centre's launch.

Although the centre began accepting phones in November, the intention is for it to provide Nokia distributors with maintenance and training support for new handsets which will be coming in to the region in the next few months, according to Nokia executives present at the launch.

"Service City will train distributors' service staff, train the trainers in effect," said Tomasz Zochowski, customer care manager for Nokia Middle East. "Service City staff will receive training directly from Nokia Middle East," he added.

Nokia executives refused to be drawn on features and functions of the new phones, beyond saying they would have "multimedia" functionality. "Nokia launches new phones every month," said Zsolt Menesi, marketing manager Nokia Middle East. The new handsets will have sophisticated and complex software features which required high level service support, he said.

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