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What Nokia’s 2017 Performance Depends on Most

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Focus on 5G

Nokia (NOK) is now gearing up to start producing 4.9G technologies that could pave the way for 5G networks, according to a company announcement. Such a move would not only enable wireless providers to improve their network performances dramatically but also revitalize Nokia’s communications gear business.

Nokia said its 4.9G MIMO antenna would boost cell capacity up to five times. Its 4.5G radio technology would enable wireless operators to tap into unlicensed airwaves to deliver gigabit speeds.

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Nokia’s partnership with VimpelCom

Nokia (NOK) and VimpelCom (VIP) recently struck a multiyear deal that expands Nokia’s managed services contract with the carrier. Under the new agreement, VimpelCom has handed Nokia the responsibility of managing its network operations and providing field maintenance support for its networks across most of Russia.

The carrier had already tapped Nokia to provide managed services for portions of the network in central Russia. The new deal also means that Nokia would manage VimpelCom’s networks that run on equipment provided by its rivals.

Nokia returns to handset business

Nokia has returned to the handset business after a two-year break following the sale of its Devices segment to Microsoft (MSFT) in 2014. The company is reportedly working on more than half a dozen mobile devices that should be unveiled this year. Nokia’s handset pipeline is said to include the iconic feature phone Nokia 3310, a device that became popular in the pre-smartphone era because of its robust build and longer battery life.

Last year, Nokia also announced the launch of Nokia 6, a smartphone with an Android (GOOG) (GOOGL) operating system. The device was released in late 2016 in China (FXI) (MCHI) and retailed for $245.

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