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Nokia acquired Gradiente's share in Brazilian manufacturing joint venture NGI

Nokia today announced that has increased its ownership of the Brazilian joint venture NG Industrial (NGI) to 100% by acquiring all the shares of NGI held by Gradiente Telecom S.A. Nokia purchased the additional 49% of the total share capital of NGI from Gradiente Telecom for USD $415 million.

NGI was established in May 1997 in Manaus, Brazil as a joint venture to manufacture mobile phones, primarily for sale in the Brazilian market under both the Nokia and Gradiente brand names. Gradiente will continue to sell Gradiente-branded digital mobile phones throughout its retail distribution network in Brazil.

K-P Wilska, president of Nokia Inc. (Americas) said that obtaining full ownership of NGI is a natural evolution for Nokia as similar market entry strategies, in order to gain a strong market presence, have been used in the United States and Asia over the past decade.

"As one of the world's leading manufacturers of network infrastructure equipment, and the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia is committed to promoting the growth of mobile telephony in Brazil. Consumers will reap the benefits of services and roaming capabilities as technology evolves to 3G and Nokia, with its expanded presence in Brazil, will be able to offer innovative infrastructure and mobile phone solutions to its potential customers."

Commenting on Nokia's relationship with Gradiente, Wilska said the more than seven year collaboration has been very successful. "As a result of our cooperation with Gradiente, we were able to enter the Brazilian market and achieve the market-leading role that we enjoy today."

Eugenio Staub, the President of Gradiente reaffirms the success of the partnership which placed the Gradiente brand name among the leaders of the mobile telephone field in Brazil. "For us at Gradiente, the relationship continues with the assurance that we will always be able to count on the search for excellence and technological advancements which are Nokia hallmarks."

In 1999, Brazil became Nokia's 7th largest market. The company has been active in Latin America since 1990. In 1993, Nokia Mobile Phones started its operations in Brazil through a commercial representative. Since then, Nokia has established offices in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro for its infrastructure and mobile phones sales. Nokia employs over 3,000 people in Latin America, including an additional mobile phone manufacturing facility in Reynosa, Mexico.

Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications. Backed by its experience, innovation, user-friendliness and secure solutions, the company has become the leading supplier of mobile phones and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed and IP networks. By adding mobility to the Internet Nokia creates new opportunities for companies and further enriches the daily lives of people. Nokia is one of the most broadly held companies in the world with listings on six major exchanges.

Further information:

In Brazil:
Paula Barifouse, Communications Manager, Nokia do Brasil, Tel. +5592 652 7200
Marta Dourado, Fundamento, Tel. +5511 536 49 66, Fax +5511 530 83 06

Outside Brazil:
Tapio Hedman, Nokia Mobile Phones, Communications, Tel. +358 10 5051
Megan Matthews, Nokia Inc. (Americas), Corporate Communications, Tel. +1 972 894 4267

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