Nokia is turning 150 years old and while most of us know Nokia as only a mobile tech company they have been sooo much more over the years. At a 150 years it’s a good time to look back at what Nokia has been and where it’s going from here.
Quick Nokia History lesson:
Nokia’s history dates back to 1865, when mining engineer Fredrik Idestam set up his first wood pulp mill at the Tammerkoski Rapids in Southwestern Finland. A few years later he opened a second mill on the banks of the Nokianvirta river, inspiring him to name his company Nokia Ab in 1871.
In 1967, Nokia took it’s current form as Nokia Corporation as a result of the merger of Idestam’s Nokia AB, Finnish Rubber Works, a manufacturer of rubber boots, tires and other rubber products founded in 1898, and Finnish Cable Works Ltd, a manufacturer of telephone and power cables founded in 1912. The new Nokia Corporation had five businesses: rubber, cable, forestry, electronics and power generation.
Nokia first entered the telecommunications equipment market in 1960 when an electronics department was established at Finnish Cable Works to concentrate on the production of radio-transmission equipment. Deregulation of the European telecommunications industries since the late 1980s stimulated competition and boosted customer demand.
In 1982, Nokia introduced the first fully-digital local telephone exchange in Europe, and, in the same year, the world’s first car phone for the Nordic Mobile Telephone analog standard. Nokia also was the first make GSM. The first GSM call was made with a Nokia phone over the Nokia-built network of a Finnish operator called Radiolinja in 1991, and in the same year Nokia won contracts to supply GSM networks in other European countries.
In the early 1990s, we made a strategic decision to make telecommunications our core business, with the goal of establishing leadership in every major global market. Basic industry and non-telecommunications operations—including paper, personal computer, rubber, footwear, chemicals, power plant, cable, aluminum and television businesses—were divested between 1989 and 1996. By 1998, Nokia was the world leader in mobile phones, a position it enjoyed for more than a decade.
In 2006, Nokia, which had already been investing in its mapping capabilities for many years, acquired Gate5, a mapping software specialist, and then in 2008 NAVTEQ, the US-based maker of digital mapping and navigational software. In 2007, Nokia combined its telecoms infrastructure operations with those of Siemens to form a joint venture named Nokia Siemens Networks. NSN has become a leading global provider of telecommunications infrastructure, with a focus on offering innovative mobile broadband technology and services.
In 2011, Nokia joined forces with Microsoft to strengthen its position in the highly competitive smartphone market. Nokia adopted the Windows Phone operating system for smart devices and through their strategic partnership Nokia and Microsoft set about establishing an alternative ecosystem to rival iOS and Android. In 2011, Nokia also started to make a number of changes to its operations and company culture that would in the course of the next two years lead to shortened product development times, improved product quality and better responsiveness to market demand.
In 2013, Nokia moved to reinvent itself with two transformative transactions. The first was the purchase of Siemens’ stake in NSN, which was nearing the end of a deep restructuring and remarkable transformation. The second was the announcement of the sale of substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business to Microsoft. The Microsoft transaction was originally announced on September 3, 2013 and was completed on April 25, 2014.
Following the closing of the transaction, Nokia announced its new vision and strategy, building on its three strong businesses; Nokia Networks, HERE, and Nokia Technologies.
Now to where Nokia is headed according to interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa:
“Nokia will look very different without the mobile devices and services business. But it will be a strong company, with healthy finances and three strong businesses – NSN, HERE, and Advanced Technologies – each a leader in technology and innovation.”
“There are three key areas to our reinvention of Nokia.
“The first element of Nokia Reinvented is NSN, our networks business, supplying technology and infrastructure to operators worldwide. We will continue to manage NSN as a strong, independent unit.
“NSN is the mobile broadband specialist and especially strong in LTE. With our strong and focused investment in R&D, we will continue to launch uniquely innovative solutions such as the Liquid Applications that was announced in Barcelona earlier this year.”
Not only will Nokia have those three key areas there will be more to come plus they intend to use their patent portfolio to stay financially sound for years to come.
“Nokia’s investment in research and development also helped us build what we believe is the largest and strongest intellectual property portfolio in our industry, with around 10,000 carefully selected patent families. We’ve already established a successful patent and technology licensing operation, which we will expand to continue to drive revenue and profit for Nokia through the new Advanced Technologies business.”
As for solid plans they aren’t giving away that information away yet they simply have this to say:
“During the coming months, my main focus will be on clarifying our strategy, designing the right corporate structure to achieve the targets we set, and together with my colleagues on the Nokia board, we will focus on identifying the right person who will be the CEO of Nokia going forward. I believe this is the beginning of the next 150 years of Nokia’s story.”
As for me I have been a Nokia user since 1997 and I don’t really see that changing I am really enjoying my Nokia Lumia 1520 and am hoping that Nokia will delight me with another device at some point next year so when it comes time to upgrade my personal Nokia story can continue! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOKIA!!
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