1 Why is the Nokia case emblematic for Arnaud Montebourg?

The management of the fourth social plan in five years at Nokia France is significant, for Arnaud Montebourg, the lack of industrial strategy of the government. The champion of “made in France”, all in his candidacy for the next presidential election, seized these 1,233 job cuts to differentiate himself from Emmanuel Macron. If the government has not skimped on its efforts to neutralize the social question, Montebourg aims “the rebirth of a French Alcatel”, according to the terms of the letter he sent, on February 3, to Prime Minister Jean Castex . “The government must finally draw the consequences (…) of the disastrous sale of Alcatel to Nokia (authorized in 2015 by the Minister of the Economy Emmanuel Macron, Editor’s note) and ensure the rebirth of a new French telecom equipment manufacturer in a position to ‘ensure our national independence’.

2 What does the Resurcom plan contain?

After meeting with Nokia employees in Lannion on January 25, the former Minister of Productive Recovery developed an alternative plan with a group of industrialists. Called Resurcom, it aims to recreate, in two years, a production in France of telecom equipment to current standards and for the future 5G, associated applications and services as well as a cybersecurity offer. Faced with the American-Chinese duopoly, “sovereignty in telecom equipment can be regained”, estimates the memorandum addressed to Jean Castex.

Resurcom is not starting from scratch: it relies on the assets and employees of Nokia France. “The Finnish group has not respected its commitments in France: the State must force it to abandon its positions for a symbolic euro”, launches a close to the file. The Franco-Italian semiconductor group STMicroelectronics as well as the processor specialist Kalray would be associated. Contacts have been made, even if the manufacturers say they have not been approached. Above all, Resurcom relies “on CS Group, whose president Yazid Sabeg is at the origin of this project which he intends to carry and unite”, according to the memo. Former Commissioner for Diversity and Equal Opportunities under Nicolas Sarkozy, since the 1990s he has developed the Communication & Systems technology group. Listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, the company generated sales of 230 million euros in 2019.

The memo estimates the resources needed at 1.5 billion euros over three years, including only 150 million in grants. A limited amount – too limited, some say – related to the stakes. “It will take around two years to develop high-performance products for 5G, intended for French and European operators,” explains the plan.

3 The executive kicks in touch

Matignon plans to send, next week, an official response to the pavement in the pond thrown by Arnaud Montebourg. The mail should above all allow Jean Castex to kick in touch, so as not to disavow the decision taken by the Head of State in 2015. He will recall that they are each pursuing “a shared objective around a strong policy in favor of telecoms and cybersecurity, ”says one in the entourage of the Prime Minister. “The issues underlined by Arnaud Montebourg’s letter can find answers in the means deployed by the State, whether it is the recovery plan, of which 35 billion are mobilized in favor of the industry, and the component on 5G », Evacuates the same source.

4 Resurcom arouses skepticism in Lannion

Interest in Lannion for the Montebourg plan has fallen. Of the 239 positions deleted by Nokia on the site of the former Cnet, 231 employees have already found a job. Orange, the American Qualcomm and the B-com research institute have offered solutions. “Recreate Alcatel, why not. I do not know if it is feasible, declares the CFDT delegate from Nokia, Bernard Trémulot. Either way, that’s a long-term view. We are head in the handle, to find very short-term solutions “to the employees. Skepticism is also gaining the mayor PS, Paul Le Bihan: “This plan may come too late. We are no longer in a world where giants are formed by incantation alone. In any case, this is not an immediate solution ”.

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