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Bridging the digital divide



Connectivity and digitalization enable us to collaborate, innovate, to help make our industries more productive and efficient and engage with our communities and families. Our solutions can bring more inclusive access to opportunities and help resolve many social and economic challenges the world faces today. Through enhanced connectivity and digitalization, we provide access to basic social services, education and healthcare. We enable human rights and help restore industry productivity and keep workers safe. This is our positive social handprint.

We aim to bridge the digital divide and connect the unconnected through our broadband and innovative connectivity solutions. We further drive the uptake and knowledge of digital technologies and skills.

Our corporate social responsibility initiatives in 2022 reached




direct beneficiaries across the world, including 110 programs in 34 countries



Nokia announced a new program with UNICEF for connectivity and digital skills in Senegal, Africa



By the end of 2022, we had rolled out 96 live 5G networks globally



Our multi-year Smartpur digital village ecosystem program in India reached 90 more villages increasing the number of Smartpur centers to 350 villages across India



We continued to support the Forge Academy in South Africa, a fully inclusive AI laboratory aiming to train students from various backgrounds with the skills needed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution


Bridging the digital divide key targets

Digital divide

Connecting people and things

We believe the positive impact of our technology far outweighs any potential negative impacts

Despite the acceleration of digitalization during the pandemic, 2.7 billion people around the world remain unconnected in 2022. Nokia's products and solutions can help provide more equal access to healthcare, education and employment, and enable small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the digital economy.

We aim to be a bridge to enable digital inclusion through our connectivity and digital skill building solutions. Our greatest impact on digital inclusion comes through our broad product portfolio and focused strategies with non-terrestrial providers and other partners. Together, we connect different demographics to broadband level speeds in both fixed and wireless network domains.

As the world digitalizes, no one can be left behind. We continue to build on our training assets, certifications and initiatives. We support digital skill building and help prepare individuals and enterprises for the digital future of work and life.

Collaboration is key. With our customers we connect the world's people, machines and devices. We build critical networks, software and services, and we continue to innovate and reimagine technology to help meet society’s many challenges and opportunities. we strive to make communities smarter and more sustainable, transportation safer, and enterprises more agile, efficient and productive. We believe 5G, combined with other technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Big Data and Cloud, can assist in delivering greater economic and social prosperity, improved equity and opportunity for all people and a healthier planet. These are the technologies of the future workforce and digital living.

Digital Inclusion examples

Broadband manufacturing in the USA

Broadband manufacturing in the USA

Nokia announced a partnership with Sanmina Corporation to become the first telecom company to manufacture broadband products for the BEAD (Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment) program in the United States. This is another step forward in our mission to bridge the digital divide. Seventy percent of fiber broadband lines in North America are powered by Nokia. Now, partnering with Sanmina Corporation, Nokia will manufacture in the U.S. several fiber-optic broadband products at Sanmina’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located in Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, bringing up to 200 new jobs to the state.

Nokia has also expanded its ‘network-in-a-box’ program to provide essential network infrastructure products in a single bundle that operators and BEAD participants need to quickly build or scale broadband networks. The pre-packaged solutions from Nokia are configurable to each individual network build and are available to ship directly through Nokia or its network of channel partners. BEAD participants focused on bridging the digital divide can also leverage Nokia’s network-in-a-box program. The program provides all of the recently announced U.S. manufactured fiber-optic broadband network electronics products and optical modules in a single solution.

Why fiber broadband is essential to bridging the digital divide


Connecting the unconnected

We have customers in most countries of the world. With our partners and customers, we connect school districts and local communities through best-in-breed broadband communications solutions that are fast and easy to deploy and manage. Nokia’s Private Wireless solution – Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) with FastMile end user home device can help cities, communities and educational institutions access online learning for students. The same solution will enable broadband connectivity and business continuity for city services, such as community centers, hospitals and libraries. It will also help improve choice for public employees as they can work from home when necessary.

Bridging the divide successfully calls for collaboration, such as the case in El Salvador, where we are working together with players from the public and private sectors to bring El Salvador's public services online. The aim is to have broadband in every school by 2030, as well as extending it to other public services such as medical clinics, hospitals and police stations. This will not only vastly improve internet access, but also help create the foundations for a modern digital economy.

Broadband connectivity translates to improved and optimized productivity, increased access to education, new opportunities in highly skilled areas with jobs in the formal sector. The World Economic Forum for example, reference Digital Skills Opportunity for All, a report from Randstad and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that analyzes more than 400 million job postings published online in the last 10 years. By doing this they highlight the labour market occupations and skills most in demand. Jobs requiring digital skills make up 6-12% of all vacancies posted online in the 10 countries covered by the report and this share is steadily increasing. A quick breakdown of the data shows, for instance, that job postings for digital roles in the US increased by 24% between 2018 and 2021, led by a 116% increase in postings for data engineers.

Digital inclusion solutions

Fixed wireless access (FWA)

FWA is seen as a more affordable and faster option to deploy than using 5G or the fixed broadband network in certain cases. It doesn’t require new spectrum and there is no need to dig new trenches to lay cabling. This means it can bring high speed broadband access and services to remote communities in developed and developing markets sooner and ensure that communities are included in the digital society and economy.

Find out more Fixed Wireless Access

Code of Conduct



According to studies by Nokia Bell Labs, in 2021 only 30% of the world’s industry was fully digitalized. Despite the acceleration of digitalization, there remains the risk that small and medium-sized enterprises may well face challenges in developing the future digital skills and knowledge of their employees. We believe our knowledge and the capacity to offer training through partners and collaboration can enable small and medium companies to benefit more fully from digitalization.

We also look to gain the greatest impact on sustainable development through our corporate social programs in collaboration with leading non-governmental organizations. One key focus area for these donation-based programs is connecting the unconnected and digital skills. Read more below under social responsibility programs.



Broadly, digital skills correlate to years spent in education. Those with tertiary education (college, university) are more likely to leverage the potential of broadband and connected devices. Low literacy levels widen digital inequality and often lead to lower incomes. It’s important that mandatory education develops digital skills and competence, but it is equally important to ensure life-long learning and skills development to adapt to workplace demand. 

As the world and education becomes more reliant on broadband connectivity, Nokia is working to close the digital divide for students by providing access to broadband connectivity globally through a range of solutions. The objective is that everyone can benefit from access to high-speed broadband internet and devices. It means more than just having the skills to use the internet, but also having access to the world’s best education systems and importantly, staying secure and protecting online data. 

We are also helping smaller, more rural districts to drive inclusion. In 2022 we announced the deployment of a fixed wireless access solution for the school district of Dos Palos Oro Loma of California, to provide broadband internet connectivity to underserved students. During the pandemic, the school district found they could only provide coverage for approximately 50% of their students via commercial wireless network providers. This new network will enable secure, reliable, high-performance internet access to the homes of 2400 students.

Multi-stakeholder dialog

Our President and CEO Pekka Lundmark is a UN Broadband Commissioner. We support the 2025 target set by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development that aims to ‘connect the other half’ in the next five years, calling for national broadband plans that address affordability, access and digital skill levels by region, demographic and gender. It also calls to connect small businesses and extend e-finance services to the unbanked. Read more about the UN Broadband commission

In 2022, we were a member of the EDISON Alliance. The World Economic Forum’s EDISON Alliance is mobilizing commitments globally to accelerate the delivery of digital solutions to unserved and underserved populations, aiming to benefit 1 billion people by 2025.

Our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility

Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities are divided into corporate, key regional, and local programs. Our corporate level programs are centrally managed and in 2022, focused on four key themes: 

  • Increasing digital inclusion, 
  • Climate and environment, 
  • Inclusion, equity and diversity, 
  • Disaster relief. 

Key regional programs cover programs in India and China, and local programs are initiated and run by Nokia offices around the world.

One of our key digital inclusion targets is to harness our technology, capabilities and funds to improve the lives of 1,500,000 people through social digitalization projects, digital skill building, and connecting the unconnected or underserved by 2025. In support of this target in 2022, we invested almost EUR 13 million in communities around the world (EUR 7 million in 2021). 91% of the contributions were provided as cash, 8% as employee time and 1% as in-kind non-cash resources. A large share of total donations, 57%, were classified under the theme of Connecting the unconnected. In 2022 as we introduced our refreshed ESG strategy, we also instigated a number of new programs related to protecting the environment and climate change. These programs will be implemented in the early part of 2023. In 2022 we also saw a smaller amount of spend related to empowering diversity at the corporate level.

New programs

Nokia and UNICEF collaborating to help bridge the digital divide

Nokia and UNICEF are working to help bridge the digital divide and provide a dedicated digital education and coding program in select parts of Senegal. The project with UNICEF Finland and UNICEF Senegal will involve teachers, as well as students in underserved areas in Senegal. The focus will be on digital education and training activities so students can develop their digital skills, including coding.  The principal intended beneficiaries are more than 100 teachers, as well as more than 10,000 middle school students in underserved areas. The program includes specific sessions on digital skills, as well as upgrading equipment and connectivity.

Nokia supporting Ukraine


Nokia has donated EUR 1 million to UNICEF to help support its humanitarian work in Ukraine, which is focused on the critical needs of children and families. In addition, we have worked with UNICEF to provide a platform for employee fundraising. Thanks to the generosity of Nokia colleagues, we were able to donate a further EUR 33,000 of Nokia employee donated funds to Ukraine through an employee fundraising campaign website. Nokia has also committed to providing 5,000 Beacons to Ukraine to provide Internet access to shelters in schools.


© UNICEF Senegal 2023


© UNICEF/UN0622178/Holerga

Key community programs

Empowering youth in Morocco

In 2021 we launched a two-year program in Morocco where we are joined by UNICEF, the Moroccan government (the Ministry of Youth and the Ministry of Education), Orange Morocco and other key partners to work to empower less advantaged young people (15-24 years), particularly girls, to become resilient young people who engage actively with their families and communities and are increasingly productive through employment or self-employment.

Through awareness raising sessions, workshops/bootcamps and coaching the program equips young people with skills for life and employment and helps them to identify problems and design social and entrepreneurial solutions in their own communities. The program is also designed to raise the youth's awareness on climate change and environmental issues, so that they can become change agents in their communities. The program is based on the UPSHIFT social innovation and venture curriculum, which is featured as part of the World Bank’s Solutions for Youth Employment portfolio.

Read more about our program to empower youth in Morocco

© UNICEF Morocco 2022

Nokia and UN Women collaborate to promote inclusion and diversity in Middle East and Africa

Nokia signed the Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in 2021 and started its collaboration with United Nations Women. The WEPs are a set of principles offering guidance to business on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.

The successful pilots in Nokia’s Middle East and Africa region have been executed with further program cycles in 2022. Furthermore, the same concept has been applied in the Asia Pacific region which will feature similar pilot initiatives from 2023 onwards. 

  • Kenya: We continued with provision of STEM education for girls and families in school and at home. We continued building awareness on gender-based violence within the environments where girls are active, and we started planning for a new cycle to expand to more schools in collaboration with UN Women and the Kenyan Ministry of Education.
  • Saudi Arabia: We worked to increase the number of women at Nokia Saudi Arabia by using a study conducted to better understand the career aspirations of women students in STEM in collaboration with Saudi Arabian universities. The program is planned to scale to other MEA countries with low numbers of female employees.
  • South Africa: We executed the 2nd cycle of our program to enable financial independence for underprivileged women who survived gender-based violence. Due to high demand a new program is being planned.

Read more about the UN Women program promoting inclusion and diversity

Social programs in India

We have long-term programs supporting communities in education, environment, inclusion and more as part of our India CSR programs.

Smartpur digital village ecosystem

Smartpur is a Nokia initiative aimed at integrating technology into the daily lives of people living in remote villages in India. The initiative connects people with essential pillars of development (education, health, livelihood, governance and financial inclusion).

The Smartpur digital village ecosystem has been designed with sustainability, scalability, replicability and large-scale impact in mind from the start. Using digital connectivity technology, the project aims to empower local entrepreneurs and provide them with facilities to provide services at the village level through Smartpur centres.

In 2022 Nokia expanded the project to 90 more villages increasing the number of Smartpur centers to 350 villages across India. The initiative connects people with essential pillars of development like education, health, livelihood, governance and financial inclusion, which support villages to be more sustainable and self-reliant.

The Smartpur initiative was recognized for its mass impact. In 2022, Nokia was delighted to receive Bharti Foundation's Silver Award for Social Initiative (India). The Changemaker Awards (CMA) recognize and honor the Bharti Group Companies and Bharti Foundation’s partner corporates for their work in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility. Nokia was proud to receive the award from amongst 67 nominees.

To find out more, you can read Pekka Lundmark's insight on the Smartpur project in India, demonstrating that the faster digitalization is rolled out, the more people will benefit.

Remedial education

The India team also continue to support education for out-of-school children from migrant communities by providing them with remedial classes in conducive environments.

Research on network robotics and its application towards enhancement of SDGs –IISC Bangalore

Since 2020, Nokia has also collaborated with the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bangalore to establish the Nokia Center of Excellence for Networks. The vision was that the network robotics laboratory would be used by start-ups, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to assist them in carrying out meaningful research on the design of next generation networks and application of AI for solving socially relevant problems. 

In the first year, the center focused on research and applications related to Ground Robots - Ensuring Safety of Human Operations in Industrial Environments with network intelligence-enhanced Ground Robot Operations. Further, Nokia’s close collaboration with IISC is looking at expansion and includes the development of Aerial Robots (Drones), Ground Robots for Societal use cases like (outdoor) Disaster Response and Management, the development of a structured plan for translating research outcomes to concrete demonstrations and utilizing the IISC start-up incubation framework (ARTPARK) with support from the Nokia Chennai factory.

Read more about our CSR activities in India in our latest India CSR report


photo credits

Social programs in China

Internet Classroom Program 

More than 50 million rural students have no access to computers in China. Meanwhile, many obsolete computers are still in good condition and could be reused after appropriate refurbishment. Having cooperated with NGO Zhonggu since 2011, we have successfully set up 36 internet classrooms in 12 provinces and municipalities, including Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Guizhou, Gansu, Shanghai, Beijing and Tibet. This is a star volunteering program of Nokia in China running for more than 10 years. In 2022, Nokia colleagues helped build Internet-connected English Audio Classrooms for the 16 rural high schools in the county, benefiting over 10,580 students.

In addition to the internet classroom program, local employees engaged in a number of programs where they for example gave lessons to school children, organized inspirational sessions for Girls in ICT day, and supported poverty alleviation programs.


In China, our employees launched 15 volunteering/ charity programs nationwide. In total, about 502 Nokia employee volunteers in China contributed over 15,659 hours of volunteer service, benefiting over 59,650 people.





Local community engagement

Our employees across our sites are active in organizing activities to support and engage with the communities around them. They carry out acts of support throughout the year through humanitarian and crisis aid projects, such as donating medical material and used IT equipment, collecting and donating toys, clothes and other essential goods. Find below a few examples of community activities in 2022:

ChariTrees 2022, Singapore

Nokia was gold sponsor for ChariTrees Singapore in support of three charities - SOS Samaritans of Singapore, SPD Serving People with Disabilities and #Engage initiative by The Rice Company Ltd.

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) carries out suicide prevention, intervention and postvention services. The SPD seeks to develop the potential and enable people with disabilities of all ages to be as independent and self-reliant as possible. TRCL’s #ENGAGE initiative provides vulnerable children with digital devices and digital-art programs to equip them with know-how and creative skills. 

1st Anniversary of Nokia-IOH-ITS 5G Experience Center, Indonesia

Under collaboration between Nokia Indonesia, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchinson (IOH) and the Institute of Technology Surabaya (ITS) and with the collaboration of Nokia sales team, StrongHer and the ESG team, we successfully conducted:

  • Nokia ESG program for ITS students: Educational and research incentive of laptops distribution for the development of youth in 5G Experience Center, alignment of the local content process, Industry 4.0, and to lead the ICT development in Indonesia. It included forum discussions as well as a Nokia Technology Day with more than 200 students attending

Small Action for Planet Forward, Korea

In October 2022, Nokia Korea held an event, where about 40 people voluntarily planted trees at DMZ area in Paju. DMZ stands for DeMilitarized Zone that has seen war, a border between South and North Korea and owes its varied biodiversity to its geography, which crosses mountains, prairies, swamps, lakes, and tidal marshes. Engaging with our communities on the ground during the event, around 200 trees were planted along with donations to the DMZ area. The trees will be cared for by an organization supported by the Korea Ministry of Environment.

Sponsoring SUKA Society NGO, Malaysia

Nokia sponsors an NGO, SUKA Society to create greater access to education for Orang Asli children, by enabling digital access and connecting with teachers. Sponsorship will cover two teachers' monthly stipend for one year, expenses to develop and train teachers to use the syllabus (with the internet connectivity for 12 months for 2 schools),and funds to purchase IT equipment and school supplies. Teacher training planned between February and March 2023 with a CMT visit to the training site.

5G Plastic Free festivals with Chunghwa Telecom

In 2022, Nokia volunteers supported Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) and its ESG activity - 5G Plastic Free Festivals. The initiative aims to reduce plastic usage and marine debris and effectively raise public awareness of environmental sustainability to protect the marine environment. The CHT Foundation arranged a series of activities to promote the concept, including volunteer activities to clean major beaches nationwide, and sponsoring the famous Paper Windmill children troupe performing environmental education shows for kids in Taichung and Kaohsiung. We shared our corporate ESG targets, progress, and commitments and the concept of the circular economy through the Design for Environment case example. Through the introduction of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, Nokia has successfully used PCR plastics in the production of ONT products. 

Solar for Good with Taiwan Mobile 

Nokia sponsored Taiwan Mobile (TWM) “Solar for Good” charity program. Nokia was one of the main energy partners for the sixth Solar Power for Good collaboration in 2022.

The 2022 beneficiary was the Kanner Foundation of Taiwan, which aims to develop supporting systems for individuals with Kanner Syndrome since 2004. This charity program will assist them to build up a solar system on the rooftop of the 3rd party’s building. 

The long-term strategy of the “Solar for Good” charity program is helping the disadvantaged organizations obtain stable income from selling the green power generated by the solar panel system back to Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) for at least 20 years. In the past 5 years, those organizations that have received the charity program support have generated revenue of around EUR 277 000 by selling green power, and Taiwan Mobile expects the program to help reduce CO2 by 4907 tons in the next 20 years