Nokia's New View Of Itself – It's The Network

It’s hard to say what, if anything, Tero Ojanperä was drinking at the time, but this indulgent Fast Company profile reports how Nokia’s entertainment EVP rose from a dining table at a Tribeca, New York, hotel recently to tell dinner guests: “I am claiming now that we will quickly be the world’s biggest entertainment media network.

“You can laugh and say, ‘What is the point? Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is a cell-phone company; it will never get into the entertainment business.’ That’s okay. Laugh. That’s what people did when we said we were going to be the biggest cell-phone company in the world – back when we were making car tires and rubber boots.”

Writer Mark Borden opines: “He also tells me that, while his ambition for Nokia is to be the biggest entertainment base in the world, it’s only part of an even greater ambition to be the largest network in the world — period.”

The phrase “connecting people” – Nokia’s usual mission statement – doesn’t feature in the piece. This is all rather alien talk for those of us who know Nokia isn’t a network; it’s a device maker. Even Nokia’s growing services ambition, around its Ovi suite, is unlikely to make it “the largest network in the world” – to be that, one needs ubiquity; and Nokia as yet seems unlikely to convert non-Nokia users over to Ovi tools.

Meanwhile, Ojanperä, who is primarily fixed on exploiting music relationships at Nokia, is making a good fist of allying the handset firm with Eurythmics musician Dave Stewart. Fast Company is happy to oblige by running some promo-esque videos. Ojanperä: “It’s like he sees these two enormous ships floating in space yet moving hundreds of miles an hour; with Nokia, he can direct them to a docking point.” And Stewart says rather ridiculously: “The reason I get on so well with Nokia is that we are both open-source.”