Nokia sees double-digit fall in January-March sales as weak market for 5G technology prevails

The company, in its first quarter result announced on Thursday, attributed the decline in profit to the moderate pace of investments in 5G networks by Indian telecom operators.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.(File Photo | Twitter, @nokianetworks)

NEW DELHI: Nokia, a Finland-based telecom gear maker, reported a 69% year-over-year fall in its India profit at 265 million euros (`2,360.09 cr), against net sales of 853 million euros in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The company, in its first quarter result announced on Thursday, attributed the decline in profit to the moderate pace of investments in 5G networks by Indian telecom operators.

“India net sales declined, reflecting normalisation of 5G investments in the region after significant deployments in the year-ago quarter. Elsewhere in APAC, Rest of APAC and Greater China also declined,” said Nokia in its quarterly result.

Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have been deploying 5G networks in the country since October 2022. Now, both telcos claim to have covered the entire country. In fact, the minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, called India’s 5G rollout the fastest in the world and also said India has more 5G coverage than the US and Europe combined. However, India’s third-largest telecom service provider Vodafone Idea (VIL), has yet to start deploying commercial 5G in the country.

Nokia said mobile networks were impacted by low spending in North America and India, which led to a Q1 net sales decline of 37% in constant currency. The company mentioned that a slower pace of spending in India was anticipated following the rapid 5G deployment seen in the first half of 2023, and its expectations for India for the full year remain unchanged.

“Globally, we expect Q1 to mark the low point in demand with activity, then progressively pick up through remainder of 2024, consistent with more normal seasonality. We saw major strength in gross,” reads the report. Another telecom gear maker, Ericsson, also posted a 38% year-over-year fall in net sales in the markets of Southeast Asia, Oceania, and India, from 13.9 billion SEK in Q1 2023 to 8.6 billion SEK in Q1 2024.

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