Nokia is a Finnish corporation, headquartered in Espoo, Finland, with around 59,000 employees. It is a success story built on constant innovation and never forgetting that its products are designed to be useful to and enjoyed by human beings.
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Nokia's roots go back to 1865 when the Nokia wood-pulp mill was founded, but the business took its current form in 1967 with the merger of three separate companies. It takes its name from the Nokianvirta River in southern Finland, next to the original pulp mill, itself named after a furry wolverine-type animal known as a Nokia.
After a century of steady growth producing the original communications technology – paper – and some electricity generation since 1902, a merger with a cable company and rubber firm in 1967 set Nokia on the road towards the electronics revolution.
The newly formed Nokia Corporation found itself ideally positioned for a pioneering role in the early evolution of mobile communications. As European telecommunications markets were deregulated and mobile networks became global, Nokia led the way with some iconic televisions and computer products in the first electronics boom.
By the late 1980s, Nokia was the third-largest TV manufacturer in Europe and although it eventually left consumer electronics behind, the telecommunications expertise built up over the previous two decades became the core of its future work.
In July 1991, Finnish Prime Minister Harri Holkeri made the world's first GSM call, using Nokia equipment. Nokia was a key developer of GSM technology and was in the vanguard of GSM's development, delivering its first GSM network in 1989. Nokia launched its first digital handheld GSM phone - the Nokia 1011 - in 1992. By the end of the 1990s, Nokia had supplied GSM systems to more than 90 operators all over the world.
Perhaps because Nokia's management structure is not excessively hierarchical, valuing teamwork and respect for the individual, but also speed and flexibility in decision making, which is reflected in its design and production processes.
In 1982, Nokia introduced the first car phones to the network and the portable in 1986. It built the world's first international cellular network and was also the first to allow international roaming – which caught on quickly across Europe and beyond.
It was also the first manufacturer to make a series of handheld portable phones for all major digital standards, including TDMA, PCN and Japan Digital, as well as GSM.
In 2002, launched its first 3G phone - the Nokia 6650. In a vintage year for innovation, it also saw the launch of Nokia's first phone with a built-in camera - the Nokia 7650 - and its first video capture phone - the Nokia 3650. A new generation of multimedia devices was born in 2005 with the launch of what became the classic Nokia N-series - easy-to-use devices that combine state-of-the-art technology with stylish design, creating complete entertainment and communication packages.
In 2005 the billionth Nokia phone was sold - a Nokia 1100 – in Nigeria, just as global mobile phone subscriptions exceeded two billion.
By 2006, Nokia was operating 14 manufacturing facilities worldwide, from Brazil to Korea and the UK. It has a customisation and logistics centre in the US and recently opened a new factory in India.
Today, Nokia remains the world's number one manufacturer of mobile phones and one of the leading makers of mobile networks.
The 3GSM World Congress 2007 in Barcelona saw Nokia and Siemens unveil their proposed product portfolio plan for their future 50:50 joint venture: Nokia Siemens Networks - a merger of Nokia's network business and Siemen's carrier-related operations. The plans are typically ambitious, including WiMAX and advanced IP softswitches among a host of other mobile communications carrier technologies.
As Nokia says itself, it will never stop finding new ways of connecting people.
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