Nokia is a huge Finnish electronics company that has grown filthy rich from selling mobile phones to poor, unsuspecting teenagers. Just kidding :)

The Company

Nokia's history runs WAY back - all the way to 1865, when Fredrik Idestam started a wood-pulp mill in southern Finland, to manufacture paper, calling the company "Nokia"

From making paper, the company evolved to making chemicals and rubber in the 1920s. From here it went to making industrial parts and raincoats. In the 1960s, Nokia was researching radio transmission technology, after they had bought shares in The Finnish Cable Works - a company making copper wires for use in telegraph, telephone and electricity

In 1970, Nokia developed a digital telephone switch, replacing the traditional analog electro-mechanical switches. This allowed for computer-controlled telephone exchanges. The digital switch was built on Intel microprocessors.

Around the same time, development of a mobile network began. Dubbed NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephony), this system was launched in 1981. Nokia had an important role in the development of the protocols and the network (which was analog). In the beginning of the 1980s, a new standard was launched, GSM (Global System for Mobile communication). Nokia was quick to jump on the bandwagon, and started developing GSM mobile phones.

Around the beginning of the 1990s, Finland experienced an economic recession. Nokia decided to ditch their other actions, and invest more in their electronics and communications sectors. The explosion in the sales of GSM phones towards the end of the 90s has made Nokia one of the largest and most important companies in Finland


  • Nokia employs more than 60,000 people all over the world.
  • Nokia invests 8.5% of net sales in research and development
  • Nokia has their annual Nokia Game - a genius marketing stunt gaining them massive attention.

The Products

The Mobile Phones

Because Nokia has become most famous for their Cell Phones, I decided to write a bit extra about them here.

Nokia started off early making 450 Mhz band and 900 Mhz band telephones for the NMT networks - and 900 Mhz band telephones for the GSM mobile network. They later started producing telephones that could use both the 900 and the 1800 MHz bands, because the 1800 Mhz phones had better penetration in urban environments.

In the US, the GSM network runs on the 1900 Mhz band - which explains why most of the cool and fancy telephones aimed at the European market either never make it to the US, or arrive with a different name and at a later time.

In general, Nokia cell phones have been known to have great quality and reliability, with the exception of the Nokia 6210, which was notorious with its 25% error rate.