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NOKIA

 

Definitely not British, American or Japanese with a name like that. Scandinavian maybe?

 

Spot on, Finnish to be precise and their roots can be traced back to 1865 when Fredrik Idestam set up a pulp mill in the South of the country, in an area known as Nokia. It quickly became one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of soft tissues

 

Tissues to telecommunications, that’s quite a jump...

 

It actually took quite a while and the Nokia Group as we know it today wasn’t formed until 1967, following the merger of three smaller companies

 

Who were they?

 

The Finnish Rubber works, it set up shop next door to the Nokia mill in 1898, making galoshes and sundry rubber goods, and the Finnish Cable Works, based in Helsinki, founded in 1912. Over the years the ownership of all three companies fell into the same hands, finally coming together as one concern in 1967

 

Rubber, wire and paper, is there a connection?

 

After the turn of the century, and following the rapid expansion of Finland’s telephone network, there was a big demand for cable. Rubber and paper were used as insulators, hence the synergy

 

Bring us up to date

Finnish Cable moved into telecommunications in a big way during the 1960s, building radios for the army and public utilities. Following the merger the group became leaders in PCM digital transmission systems. In the 1970s they moved into microwaves and branches of the company expanded into other telecommunications technologies. In 1979 their Mobira division became Nokia Mobile Phones.

 

Didn’t they use to make TVs and hi-fis?

For a while; throughout the 1980s they became a quite big player in consumer electronics but they stopped making VCRs and the TV business was sold off to the parent company of Akai a few years back. Now they’re back concentrating on their core businesses, mobile phones and telecommunications. They also manage to find time in between to design and build some great satellite receivers. They’re also pioneers in digital set-top boxes and recently they started marketing PC monitors. 

 

 

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