EIB swells Nokia's coffers by €500m to fund its 5G research

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The European Investment Bank has lent Nokia €500 million to help the Finnish vendor invest further in the research and development of 5G technology.

Nokia has been one of many telcos beavering away at a flurry of 5G trials and demonstrations ahead of the technology's commercial launch.

It partnered with Telia earlier this month to show how gaming could be powered over a 5G network.

In France, the vendor is one of the telcos working to build 5G cities in partnership with operators and the country's regulator Arcep.

It is also preparing TIM's network for 5G and recently showcased the technology's use cases within the smart city, Industry 4.0 and tourism.

Despite the European activity, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri has been critical of the pace of development across the continent.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, he said Europe was being left behind by the United States and Asia. A key driver of this, he said, was capacity in existing networks.

In a statement, Nokia toed the line of fellow telcos in repeating how 5G would power the likes of augmented and virtual reality, driverless cars, healthcare, industrial automation and other services requiring low latency and ubiquitous coverage.

Nokia CFO Kristian Pullola said: "We are pleased to land this financing commitment from the EIB, who shares our view of the revolutionary nature of 5G - and the realisation that this revolution is already underway.

"This financing bolsters our 5G research efforts and continues the broader momentum we have already seen this year in terms of customer wins and development firsts, supporting our relentless drive to be a true leader in 5G - end-to-end."

EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb, responsible for lending in Northern Europe, added: "5G is happening fast, faster than most people even expected. It's anticipated that it will enable entirely new business cases, while dramatically enhancing existing wireless applications."