This article refers to Nokia the network equipment provider, not the Nokia phone brand which is owned by HMD Global
The finalized 5G network standards are going to be announced later this year, but many manufacturers like Qualcomm or Samsung have already announced wireless modems that will meet or exceed them. Nokia, one of the mobile pioneers, network equipment included, will be owning part of the so-called standard essential patents (SEPs) around the technology and will demand everyone pay for the privilege to use them.
"Nokia has committed to license on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, in line with the applicable intellectual property rights policies of relevant standard setting organizations (SSOs)," says the statement the company sent to us.
The licensing fee? Well, 3 EUR may not sound that much on a per unit basis, but considering the hundreds of millions of phones that will support the so-called 5G New Radio standard, the potential windfall could be significant.
The good news is that this fee is for all of Nokia 5G SEP portfolio, and is capped, so manufacturers won't deal with increases in the future. Unfortunately, they also have to pay companies like Google, Qualcomm and even Microsoft for their mobile patents, so the intellectual property sums can quickly add up on a per unit basis, too.
Nokia licensing rate expectations for 5G/NR mobile phones
Press Release • Nokia leadership position in wireless standard essential patents expected to continue in 5G • Nokia expects that for mobile phones, its licensing rate for the Nokia 5G SEP portfolio will be capped at €3 per device 21 August 2018
Espoo, Finland - Nokia today outlined its licensing rate expectations for 5G mobile phones.
Nokia is a long-term innovator in the development of fundamental technologies for wireless communications and has made significant contributions to the development of related standards for more than two decades.
This research and development investment has resulted in a significant portfolio of standard essential patents (SEPs), which Nokia has committed to license on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, in line with the applicable intellectual property rights policies of relevant standard setting organizations (SSOs).
Our innovation continues in 5G, where significant parts of the emerging 5G standards will be based on Nokia innovations, and Nokia expects to have a significant position in SEPs once the standards are finalized later in 2018.
Nokia expects that for mobile phones which implement the 5G New Radio standard, the licensing rate for the Nokia 5G SEP portfolio will be capped at €3 per device.
Nokia licensing practices for licensing 5G SEPs for mobile phones will be consistent with our licensing undertakings made to relevant SSOs. Our licensing approach reflects the value that Nokia inventions bring to end user devices, and we follow recognized industry licensing practices for wireless communication SEPs.
Beyond mobile phones, Nokia believes that there will be an unprecedented variety of end user devices that will use Nokia innovation. For other categories of devices, Nokia will determine its licensing rates separately and seeks to engage in constructive dialogue with relevant industry participants to define the licensing models best suited for those industries.
"Nokia innovation combined with our commitment to open standardization has helped build the networks of today and lay the foundations for 5G/NR," said Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia. "This announcement is an important step in helping companies plan for the introduction of 5G/NR capable mobile phones, with the first commercial launches expected in 2019."
This announcement is based on current assumptions of the Nokia 5G SEP portfolio and its anticipated growth, excluding any major acquisitions or changes to corporate structure.
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