Nokia refocuses after hanging up devices and services unit

When the Microsoft deal closes, Nokia will get a new unit called Advanced Technologies. Just what will this unknown quantity be working on?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. CNET

In perhaps as little as a few weeks, Nokia as we know it will cease to be.

After agreeing to sell its devices and services unit to Microsoft in a deal worth $7.3 billion, Nokia is set to be divided into two: the handset unit will become part of Redmond when the deal closes later this year, while the rest of Nokia's non-handset assets will carry on as a separate company.

That business will still bear the Nokia name and will be headquartered in Finland, but it'll be a very different beast to the Nokia that's been a mainstay of the mobile market for more than two decades. Under the terms of its deal with Microsoft, Nokia can't make mobile handsets for at least another two years.

Without its devices unit, Nokia will be comprised of three separate businesses: its networking unit NSN, the mapping business Here, and a third element -- everything else including patents and research. This third unit will be rolled up under the banner of Advanced Technologies and staffed by around 600 Nokians.

A key focus for the unit will be radio technologies -- the things that once underpinned Nokia's mobile empire -- but the company is also turning its R&D eye on non-cellular types of connectivity too. Sensor technologies, imaging, audio, and cloud are also on the new Nokia's R&D horizon.

Nokia execs are working on the future shape and direction of Nokia after the deal closes, expected sometime this quarter.

Read more about the new Nokia's plans in our conversation with CTO Henry Tirri at "After Microsoft: Nokia's CTO on patent trolls, perfecting wearables, and how lazy brains shape tech" at ZDNet.

 

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