Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) is the world's largest manufacturer of mobile telephones (as of June 2006), with a global market share of approximately 34% in Q2 of 2006. It produces mobile phones for every major market and protocol, including GSM, CDMA, and W-CDMA (UMTS).

The corporation also produces telecommunications network equipment for applications such as mobile and fixed-line voice telephony, ISDN, broadband access, voice over IP, and wireless LAN.

Nokia's headquarters are in Espoo, a neighboring city of Helsinki, Finland, but it has R&D, manufacturing, and sales representation sites in many continents throughout the world. Nokia Research Center, the corporation's industrial research laboratories, has sites in Helsinki and in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Nokia is by far the largest Finnish company, accounting for about half of the market capitalization of the Helsinki Stock Exchange (OMX Helsinki); a unique situation for an industrialized country. It also plays a very large role in the economy of Finland, and Finns have ranked it many times as the best Finnish brand and employer.

What is known today as Nokia was established in 1865 as a pulp mill by Knut Fredrik Idestam on the banks of Nokia rapids. Finnish Rubber Works established its factories in the beginning of 20th century nearby and began using Nokia as its brand. Shortly after World War I Finnish Rubber Works acquired Nokia wood mills as well as Finnish Cable Works, a producer of telephone and telegraph cables. All these three companies were merged into the Nokia Corporation in 1967.

The Nokia Corporation that was created in the 1967 fusion was involved in many sectors, producing at one time or another paper products, bicycle and car tyres, footwear (including Wellington boots), personal computers, communications cables, televisions, electricity production, etc.

The seeds of the current incarnation of Nokia were planted with the founding of the electronics section of the cable division in the 1960s. In the 1967 fusion, that section was separated into its own division, and began manufacturing telecommunications equipment.

In the 1970s, Nokia became more involved in the telecommunications industry by developing the Nokia DX200, a digital switch for telephone exchanges. In 1982, a DX200 switch became the world's first digital telephone switch to be put into operational use. The DX200 became the workhorse of the network equipment division. Its modular and flexible architecture enabled it to be developed into various switching products.

For a while in the 1970s, Nokia's network equipment production was separated into Telefenno, a company jointly owned by the parent corporation and by a company owned by the Finnish state.

In the 1980s, Nokia produced a series of personal computers called MikroMikko. However, the PC division was sold to ICL, which later became part of Fujitsu. That company later transferred its personal computer operations to Fujitsu Siemens Computers, which shut down its only factory in Finland around 2000, thus ending large-scale PC manufacturing in the country.

Nokia's first major mobile phone order came from the Finnish Defence Forces in 1972, for field radios. In the 1970s, Nokia began developing mobile phones for the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) network standard, that went online in the 1980s. Nokia introduced the world's first NMT mobile phone, the Nokia Cityman, in 1987. NMT was the world's first mobile telephony standard that enabled international roaming, and provided valuable experience for Nokia for its close participation in developing Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). It is a digital standard which came to dominate the world of mobile telephony in the 1980s and 1990s, in mid-2006 accounting for about two billion mobile telephone subscribers in the world, or about 80% percent of the total, in more than 200 countries. The world's first commercial GSM call was made in 1991 in Helsinki over a Nokia-supplied network, by Prime Minister of Finland Harri Holkeri, using a Nokia phone.

In the 1980s, during the era of its CEO Kari Kairamo, Nokia expanded aggressively into new fields, mostly by acquisitions. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the corporation ran into serious financial problems, a major reason being its heavily loss-making television division. (These problems probably contributed to Kairamo taking his own life in 1988.) Nokia responded by streamlining its telecommunications divisions, and by divesting itself of the television and PC divisions. Jorma Ollila, who became the CEO in 1992, made a strategic decision to concentrate solely on telecommunications. Thus, during the rest of the 1990s, Nokia continued to divest itself of all of its non-telecommunications divisions.

The exploding worldwide popularity of mobile telephones, beyond even Nokia's most optimistic predictions, caused a logistics crisis in the mid-1990s. This prompted Nokia to overhaul its entire logistics operation. Logistics continues to be one of Nokia's major advantages over its rivals, along with greater economies of scale.

In 2004, the troubles of the networks equipment division caused the corporation to resort to similar streamlining practices on that side, with layoffs and organizational restructuring. This, however, diminished Nokia's public image in Finland, and produced a number of court cases along with an episode of a documentary television show critical towards Nokia.

Despite these occasional crises, Nokia has been phenomenally successful in its chosen field. This growth has come mostly during the era of Jorma Ollila and his team of about half a dozen close colleagues. In June 2006, this era came to an end with Ollila leaving the CEO position to become the chairman of Shell. The new CEO of Nokia is Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.

On February 2006 Nokia and Sanyo announced a MOU to create a joint venture addressing the CDMA handset business. A few months later, in June, both companies announced ending their negotiations without agreement. Nokia also stated their decision to pull out of CDMA R&D, with the intention to continue CDMA business in selected markets.

On 19 June 2006 Nokia and Siemens AG announced the companies are to merge their mobile and fixed-line phone network equipment businesses to create one of the world's largest network firms. Both companies will have a 50% stake in the infrastructure company, to be headquartered in the Helsinki area, and to be called Nokia Siemens Networks. The companies predict annual sales of 16 billion euros and cost savings of 1.5 billion euros a year by 2010. About 20,000 Nokia employees will be transferred to this new company.

Nokia comprises four business groups: Mobile Phones, Multimedia, Enterprise Solutions and Networks, plus various horizontal entities such as Customer and Market Operations, and Technology Platforms.

Nokia's Mobile Phones division provides people with mobile voice and data products across a wide range of mobile devices. The division aims to target primarily high-volume category sales of mobile phones and devices, with consumers being the most important customer segment. The devices are based on GSM/EDGE, 3G/WCDMA and CDMA cellular technologies.

Nokia believes that design, brand, ease of use and price are mainstream mobile phones' most important considerations to customers. Nokia's product portfolio includes camera phones with features such as megapixel cameras and MP3 players which appeal to the mass market. In the fist quarter of 2006 Nokia sold over 15 million MP3 capable mobile phones, this means that Nokia is not only the world's leading supplier of mobile phones and digital cameras (as most of Nokia's mobile phones feature digital cameras), Nokia is now also the leading supplier of digital audio players (MP3 players).

The Multimedia division's purpose is to design devices and applications that bring multimedia experiences to their customers. These devices allow people to create, access and consume multimedia, as well as share their experiences with others. The devices are included with a wide range of connectivity such as GSM, 3G/WCDMA, WLAN and Bluetooth.

The Multimedia group also works with other companies outside the telecommunications industry to make advances in the technology and bring new applications and possibilities in areas such as Internet services, optics, music synchronization and streaming media.

As the name implies, the Nokia Enterprise Solutions offers businesses, corporations and institutions a broad range of products and solutions, such as enterprise-grade mobile devices, underlying security infrastructure, software and services. Nokia also works with a range of companies to provide network security, bring mobilized corporate e-mail and extend corporate telephone systems to work with Nokia’s mobile devices.

Nokia Networks provides mobile network infrastructure, communications and networks service platforms, as well as professional services to operators and service providers. Networks focuses in: GSM, EDGE and 3G/WCDMA networks; core networks with increasing IP and multi­access capabilities; and services.

At the end of 2005, Networks had more than 150 mobile network customers in more than 60 countries, with its systems serving in excess of 400 million subscribers.

On 19 June 2006 Nokia and Siemens AG announced the companies are to merge their mobile and fixed-line phone network equipment businesses to create one of the world's largest network firms, called Nokia Siemens Networks.

Nokia's official corporate culture manifesto, The Nokia Way, emphasises the speed and flexibility of decision-making in a flat, networked organization, although despite best intentions, the corporation's size necessarily imposes a certain amount of bureaucracy. Equality of opportunities and openness of communication are also stressed, along with management leadership and employee participation.

Nokia is a progressive and forward-thinking mobile technology group that spends a significant amount of its revenue on research and development, and prides itself on often being the first to market with new products and applications.

The official business language of Nokia is English. All documentation is written in English, and is used in official intra-company spoken communication and e-mail.

The Nokia Values are Customer Satisfaction, Respect, Achievement, and Renewal.

The UK consumer group Which? released a report which found that 70% of consumers thought Nokia's product quality high, but when there were issues, customer service levels were found to be poor. In particular, products requiring the installation of computer software (such as their phone - PC connection cable products) fared very badly.

* Unlike other modern day handsets, Nokia phones do not automatically start the call timer when the call is connected, but start it when the call is initiated. (Except for Series 60 based handsets like the Nokia 6600)

* The name of the town of Nokia originated from the river which flowed through the town. The river itself, Nokianvirta, was named after the old Finnish word originally meaning sable, later pine marten. A species of this small, black-furred predatory animal was once found in the region, but it is now extinct.

* The native Finnish pronunciation of "Nokia" is ['], i.e. stress on the first syllable and all vowels short. English speakers often pronounce the name approximately [ə] (adapting the Finnish short 'o' to the English "long O") or [nak'kii.ə] (postponing stress and replacing the short 'i' with a "tense I").

* The "Special" tone available to users of Nokia phones when receiving SMS (text messages) is actually Morse code for "SMS". Similarly, the "Ascending" SMS tone is Morse code for "Connecting People," Nokia's slogan. The "Standard" SMS tone is Morse code for "M" (Message).

* The ringtone "Nokia tune" is actually based on a 19th century guitar work named "Gran Vals" by Spanish musician Francisco Tárrega. The Nokia Tune was originally named "Grande Valse" on Nokia phones but was changed to "Nokia Tune" around 1998 when it became so well known that people referred to it as the "Nokia Tune."

* Nokia is sometimes called aikon (Nokia backwards) by non-Nokia mobile phone users and by mobile software developers, because "aikon" is used in various SDK software packages, including Nokia's own Symbian S60 SDK.

* Nokia sponsored several pan-European Alternate Reality Games from 1999 to 2005, under the name Nokia Game. These were used to promote their latest phones, as well as introducing the ARG format to Europe.

* Nokia was listed as the 20th most admirable company worldwide in Fortune's list of 2006 (1st in network communications, 4th non-US company).

* Nokia is currently the world's largest digital camera manufacturer, as the sales of its camera-equipped mobile phones have exceeded those of any conventional camera manufacturer.

* In the mobile phone market, Nokia is in direct competition with Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung Electronics, LG, Philips, Kyocera, SAGEM, among others.

* In Asia, the digit 4 never appears in any handset model number, because 4 is considered unlucky in many parts of Southeast/East Asia.

* The Nokia corporate font (typeface) is the AgfaMonotype Nokia Sans font, originally designed by Eric Spiekermann. Previously in advertising and in its mobile phone User's Guides Nokia mostly used the Agfa Rotis Sans font.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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