Nokia, Xiaomi sign multifaceted licensing deal

Handshake
Nokia and Xiaomi will explore a range of potential initiatives under terms of the deal.

Nokia and Xiaomi inked a cross-licensing pact that will also see the companies collaborate on a variety of initiatives.

Xiaomi will acquire patent assets from Nokia under terms of the multiyear deal, which also includes a cross-license to each company’s cellular standard essential patents. Nokia will provide network infrastructure equipment designed to meet high-capacity, low-power requirements by web providers and datacenter operators, and the companies will work together on optical transport solutions for datacenter interconnect, IP routing and a data center fabric offering.

Nokia and Xiaomi also said they’ll explore other areas of potential collaboration including the IoT, augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

“Xiaomi is one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers and we are delighted to have reached an agreement with them,” Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said in a press release. “In addition to welcoming such a prominent global technology company to our family of patent licensees, we look forward to working together on a wide range of strategic projects.”

While the agreement is clearly wide-ranging, whether it could provide a lift to both companies’ struggling handset businesses is unclear. Nokia was a dominant smartphone vendor before being toppled by Apple and Android-powered handsets, of course, and it hopes to stage a comeback in the U.S. with the release later this month of the Nokia 6. Xiaomi, meanwhile, has struggled with the rise of several fellow Chinese smartphone vendors and has yet to make a dent in the U.S., although it may be inching closer to elbowing its way into the American market.

“As a company seeking to deliver more exciting technological innovations to the world, we are excited at the opportunity to work more closely with Nokia in the future,” Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said in the announcement. “Xiaomi is committed to building sustainable, long-term partnerships with global technology leaders. Our collaboration with Nokia will enable us to tap on its leadership in building large, high-performance networks and formidable strength in software and services, as we week to create even more remarkable products and services that deliver the best user experience to our Mi fans worldwide.”