The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has agreed to write Nokia a €250 million cheque in the pursuit of 5G riches.
The loan, which has an average maturity of approximately five years after disbursement, will be used to fuel the 5G ambitions of Nokia in Europe in 2018-2020, with a particular focus on new 5G-related end-to-end product offerings for different verticals.
“The business opportunities of 5G are numerous, as it will be the first mobile generation designed from the beginning for machine-type communication,” said Henrik Normann, CEO of NIB. “Nokia’s research and development is likely to benefit not just the telecom sector, but also several high-technology operators in our member countries.”
“We are pleased to receive this financing commitment from the NIB, which shares our view of the revolutionary nature of 5G,” said Kristian Pullola, CFO of Nokia. “This financing will further support 5G research and development in Europe and it bolsters the momentum we have already seen this year as the era of 5G begins.”
Nokia’s most recent talking points and press packs have focused primarily around network slicing and 5G, and it looks like this is where this investment surge will be directed. While this might look like some favouritism from the NIB, Ericsson has in the past received a very similar loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). With the 5G bonanza seemingly just around the corner, both these businesses will have to prove they are in better shape than Huawei to capitalise on the opportunity.
In some markets, the work is being done for them, though neither Nokia or Ericsson can rely on the increasingly frowned upon Huawei reputation to win business. Despite collecting some high-profile bans around the world, Huawei would still be deemed by some as the leader in the 5G race, collecting momentum from the bumper pay day which was 4G.
5G is not far away anymore, and both Ericsson and Nokia have been keeping investors happy with the lure of profits. It wouldn’t be too long before they have to deliver on the promise.