Nokia names Uitto to lead mobile networks unit

Nokia sign at MWC18
Nokia said that by creating a single Access Networks organization that includes both fixed and mobile, it can improve its customer focus. (FierceWireless)

Just a little over a week after Nokia announced adjustments to its group leadership team, the Finnish vendor announced more changes: the departure of Marc Rouanne and the appointment of Tommi Uitto as president of Mobile Networks.

The company said it was establishing an Access Networks Division to “fully exploit the opportunities of 5G” and was changing the composition of the leadership. The Access Networks Division will consist of Nokia's current Mobile Networks and Fixed Networks Business Groups, with the change to take effect on Jan. 1.  

CEO Rajeev Suri previously has said Nokia’s end-to-end portfolio, which was a result of the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition, gives the company a big advantage over the competition in the 5G era. "By creating a single Access Networks organization that includes both fixed and mobile, we can improve our customer focus, simplify our management structure, and more efficiently leverage our full portfolio," he said in a press release.

The Nov. 22 announcement said that effective immediately, Uitto, a 23-year veteran of Nokia, would take on the role of president of Mobile Networks. Described as an expert in radio technologies, he is well-known to customers around the world; his most recent role has been leading Mobile Networks Product Sales since the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

"Tommi is a strong leader with the right background in both sales and product development and I am pleased that he has accepted this role," Suri stated. "He brings deep credibility from across the telecommunications industry and a proven ability to drive product leadership and business performance."

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On Nov. 13, Nokia announced plans to realign its primary customer-facing organization into two regional groups: one covering the Americas and the other responsible for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Ricky Corker was appointed president of Customer Operations, Americas, and Federico Guillen was appointed president of Customer Operations, EMEA & Asia. At the time, Rouanne was listed among the members of Nokia’s Group Leadership Team expected to stay on effective Jan. 1. It’s not clear was happened in the interim.

Still to be named: leaders of Nokia’s Fixed Networks and the head of Access Networks, both of whom will be appointed “in due course,” according to Nokia.

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In the U.S., Nokia has been involved in 5G trials and deployments with all four of the major mobile operators. Indeed, North American investments in LTE and 5G are helping boost the overall mobile infrastructure market, along with improved momentum in China, according to analysts.

After three consecutive years of contracting worldwide Radio Access Networks (RAN) revenues, the overall mobile infrastructure market improved at a high single-digit rate in the third quarter—recording the strongest growth rate since 2014, according to the Dell’Oro Group. ZTE’s RAN business gained five points share and recovered rapidly in the quarter, with the vendor able to reclaim its No. 4 position after Samsung had briefly surpassed it in the second quarter.