In 1865, an engineer named Fredrik Idestam established a wood-pulp mill and started manufacturing paper in southern Finland near the banks of a river. Those were the days when there was a strong demand for paper in the industry, the company’s sales acheived its high-stakes and Nokia grew faster and faster. The Nokia exported paper to Russia first and then to the United Kingdom and France. The Nokia factory employed a fairly large workforce and a small community grew around it. In southern Finland a community called Nokia still exists on the riverbank of Emäkoski.
Finnish Rubber Works, a manufacturer a Rubber goods, impressed with the hydro-electrcity produced by the Nokia wood-pulp (from river Emäkoski), merged up and started selling goods under the brand name on Nokia. After World War II, it acquired a major part of the Finnish Cable Works shares. The Finnish Cable Works had grown quickly due to the increasing need for power transmission and telegraph and telephone networks in the World War II. Gradually the ownership of the Rubber Works and the Cable Works companies consolidated. In 1967, all the 3 companies merged-up to form the Nokia Group. The Electronics Department generated 3 % of the Group’s net sales and provided work for 460 people in 1967, when the Nokia Group was formed.
In the beginning of 1970, the telephone exchanges consisted of electro-mechanical analog switches. Soon Nokia successfully developed the digital switch (Nokia DX 200) thereby replacing the prior electro mechanical analog switch. The Nokia DX 200 was embedded with high-level computer language as well as Intel microprocessors which in turn allowed computer-controlled telephone exchanges to be on the top and which is till date the basis for Nokia’s network infrastructure.
Introduction of mobile network began enabling the Nokia production to invent the Nordic Mobile Telephony(NMT), the world’s very first multinational cellular network in 1981. The NMT was later on introduced in other countries. Very soon Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), a digital mobile telephony, was launched and Nokia started the development of GSM phones. Beginning of the 1990 brought about an economic recession in Finland. (Rumour has it that Nokia was offered to the Swedish telecom company Ericsson during this time which was refused) Due to this Nokia increased its sale of GSM phones that was enormous. This was the main reason for Nokia to not only be one of the largest but also the most important companies in Finland. As per the sources, in August 1997, Nokia supplied GSM systems to 59 operators in 31 countries.