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Standardization

Driving global standards

standardization

We are the inventors that have unlocked generations of standards from 2G to 5G, from ADSL to 50G PON and from MPEG-I to H.266. We have been a key player in moving these technologies from ideas into concepts, and from the lab to actual mass-scale and worldwide commercial deployments. Today we are ushering in a new era of rapid acceleration in connectivity that will transform societies, and industries and enrich lives. Looking forward, we are preparing global standards for the next generation in cellular, network technologies, multimedia and devices, with an emphasis on sustainability.

At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together, and defining standards is a key element in doing that.

Global standards are essential to the world of technology

The telecommunication industry is based on standards. For technology to work around the world, there must be a basic set of agreed-upon principles. That’s why standards are essential: they ensure that products and services work the way that we expect, are compatible and make life safer and modern. To a larger degree, they also create a fairer, more sustainable world. 

Society benefits from a clear set of standards that are accepted and implemented by all. At Nokia, we strive to answer this call and lead the way to bring the industry together.

Interoperability

Interoperability is making sure things work on different systems and devices, and that technology is aligned across various platforms. Having standards does not mean that there is no room for differentiation or competition. On the contrary. Standards are a catalyst for continuous innovation in a transparent manner. The specific innovative implementation of a standard is the true differentiator. These technologies need to be ubiquitous but also meet various local regulations in a responsible, efficient manner. 

Technological excellence

During the creation of new standards, competitors, partners, suppliers and customers are all part of the same endeavour and therefore only the best proposal – and the most valuable from a technical and business perspective - will survive. Being in the same room to work on similar ideas is a guarantee for technological excellence, as only the best proposal will prevail. No one company can hope to create or own, all the elements required as we move from the 5G age into the 6G era. We need to establish partnerships as well as lead and participate in ecosystems to explore new opportunities and drive the creation of new products and services that deliver greater financial and societal value. 

Healthy business environment

Every player in the ecosystem can become active at a global level. Vendors can sell globally, and high investments in R&D can be spread. Buyers can source equipment or solutions globally. All eco-system parties can benefit in this way and have an impact at scale. To achieve this globally we need to open the power of networks – to everyone. Standards also ensure there is no lock-in overtime.   

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Key attributes of a successful standard

We believe that our deep technical expertise and our consensus-building mentality are key to creating successful global standards. Consensus-based standards are developed in cooperation with all parties that have an interest in participating in the development or use of a standard. We ensure that the standards development process is open to all interested parties and that all input and viewpoints are considered and treated fairly. Therefore, we collaborate closely with our competitors, our partners, our suppliers and our customers to arrive at one global standard that creates an inclusive, secure and more sustainable world.

We work together

We are leading technology standardization

Our world-class standardization experts are internationally renowned in their field. Nokia holds more than 100 board members, chairs and other official positions across all key standardization and industry groups. Nokia is active in 300 standardization and industry organizations globally. 

Nokia as the role model for leading 3GPP standardization
 

Nokia spearheading the standardization forums

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A family watching a tennis match on tv.

Leadership through actions

Nokia has transformed the way we view video

The six focus areas of our standardization activities

Cellular standards

For 30 years, Nokia has defined many of the fundamental technologies used in virtually all mobile devices and networks, including consumer products, IoT-connected industrial equipment and vehicles. It has been instrumental through its GSM, 3G, LTE, 5G and now 5G-Advanced standards leadership in enabling entire solutions and ecosystems built on these.  

Nokia has played a key role in driving the first set of globally interoperable 5G standards to completion with 3GPP Release 15. We continue to realize the holistic 5G vision within 3GPP Releases 16, 17 and now with 5G-Advanced starting with Release 18 and, later, Release 19.  

We lead the work in O-RAN ALLIANCE with a clear vision for the future of communications and opportunities as outlined in the Nokia vision. Nokia is the #1 contributor to the overall technical work.  

Multimedia technologies

Over the past two decades, we have created almost 5,000 inventions that enable multimedia products and services. We continue to play a leading role in multimedia research and standardization. Our expertise is built on continuous investment to advance the industry. 

We have been instrumental in the development of market-adopted video codecs, have a leading portfolio of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and a broad scope of non-SEPs. 

Through our contributions to open standards, Nokia has defined many of the fundamental technologies used in video compression today. Without these technologies, streaming high-definition video over fixed and cellular networks would not be possible.  

Learn about licensing our multimedia inventions

 

Device technologies

Standards innovation goes hand in hand with device and network implementation and forms the focus for our pioneering work in 3GPP standard development. Through active participation in standardization work, our mission is to ensure that new device architectures and interfaces deliver real-world use cases while also inspiring greater collaboration among our customers and industry partners.

As 5G-advanced evolves and we move toward 6G, our standardization experts are exploring connectivity and interaction systems in future form factors from XR to low power NR-Light devices, AI, and new power and energy management which ultimately will shape the way we live, work and interact digitally with the world around us.

Our ambition is to ensure device related standards, provide value for the end user and industry, and those standards are ready for product implementation. Our research creates device technology innovation, which we contribute to standardization for the industry community and for the benefit of consumers.

Read more about our devices standardization activities

Network technologies

We are leading technology standardization in the wireline infrastructure and networking services area such as wired fixed access & home networking development, transport, IP and segment routing, Ethernet VPN and IP-based data centers.  

We are a leading contributor to fixed networking in IETF, IEEE, ITU-T including next generation of fiber access. Nokia invented and championed L4S (Low Latency, Low Loss, and Scalable Throughput) RFCs approved in IETF. We are the #1 declared-patent holder on copper and fiber access technology.  

In the Broadband Forum (BBF), Nokia leads the specification of wireline-wireless convergence and Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) disaggregation. 

Spectrum regulation

Spectrum availability is a fundamental enabler of wireless communications. Nokia is engaged with regulators and industry partners to make harmonized spectrum available for cost-effective IMT deployments while protecting other services. We are a key voice on spectrum matters, recognized as a trusted partner for service providers, and a respected industry player for national administrations. We are also a key contributor to ITU-R and regional fora. 

Find out more about spectrum policy

Environmental, Social and Governance 

Sustainability is at the core of our business. We are actively engaged in creating standards for environmental impact assessment, energy saving and energy-efficient networks. We are also involved in Artificial Intelligence governance standardization to ensure the ethical, trustworthy and responsible use of AI. Standards support minimizing our environmental footprint, maximizing our environmental handprint and conducting responsible business practices. We are engaged in standardization activities at the ITU-T SG5, ETSI EE, ISO SC42  and other SDOs. 

Our commitment to sustainability 

Facts and figures

~€150bn

invested in R&D since 2000

~20,000

patent families, of which
more than 6,000 declared essential for 5G

2,300+

inventions on which
patents were filed in 2022