Nokia's expenditure on research and development 1999-2019

In 2019, Nokia spent 4.41 billion euros on research and development (R&D), which is a small decrease from the year before. The company’s R&D expenditures have recovered after dropping to below two billion U.S. dollars in 2014, a result from the company selling its devices segment to Microsoft and restructuring to focus on network infrastructure. In 2018 Nokia’s research and development as share of net sales was almost 20.5 percent.

Investing in mobile infrastructure

Much of Nokia’s spending on research and development goes into 5G technology and network infrastructure. Its competitors in the telecommunication equipment and infrastructure market include Ericsson, Huawei, and ZTE. As of early 2019, the United States and China are embroiled in a tense trade war, with the United States curbing equipment from telecoms manufacturer Huawei. Because of this, Nokia quickly became a more suitable candidate for implementing a 5G network in the United States and Europe, which brought up the company’s overall market value. Although 5G is only getting rolled out to the market now, Nokia is already involved in preliminary research on the next mobile generation standard of 6G technology. In June 2019 Nokia signed a memorandum of understanding with Ericsson, Samsung, and SK Telecom to conduct joint 6G R&D projects in the future.

Nokia's expenditure on research and development from 1999 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

1999 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* In 2013 Nokia sold its devices & services business to Microsoft for 5.44 billion euros. Therfore the comparability of figures from 2013 onward with figures from years prior to 2013 is limited (Figure for 2012 without devices & services business - 2.42 billion euros).

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