The Rise of Nokia's Also-Rans

The infrastructure business that Nokia didn't really want is now the company's future.

Didn't those guys make mobile phones?

Photographer: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg

In 2006, Nokia decided to spin off its also-ran mobile networking equipment business into a joint venture with fellow also-ran Siemens. That same year, French equipment maker Alcatel and its U.S. counterpart Lucent (AT&T's former equipment division), both still nursing their wounds from the turn-of-the-millennium telecom boom and collapse, combined forces.

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