Nokia, one of the biggest mobile networking innovators the world over, is positioning itself as a price leader in 5G technology licensing well before devices hit the streets by announcing a cap at only €3 per unit. This equates to about $3.50, a tiny fraction of pricing when it comes to most modern mobile products. This rate applies to smartphones, and grants access to Nokia's entire 5G SEP portfolio, including future 5G NR solutions. Licensing fees for other types of 5G devices will be determined on a case-by-case basis, dependent on things like how is Nokia's technology used, how many products will be made, and the final price of the cell phone or similar offering in question.
Comparatively, Qualcomm is poised to offer its 5G patent portfolio at $3.25 for a $100 device and $6.50 for a $200 device, with a cap at the $400 price point. Presumably, this would mean that flagship makers could end up paying up to $13.00 per device for licensing to use Qualcomm's 5G portfolio. Those are theoretical caps, of course, but the fact that Nokia has instituted a much lower hard cap makes it a vastly more appealing proposition to use its portfolio when and where possible. Networking giants like Qualcomm and Samsung tend to hold standard essential patents in their areas of expertise, so it will likely be difficult to escape them entirely in licensing patents for future 5G mobile products, but Nokia offering its portfolio at such a low cost means that at least some of the licensing costs could be offset.
Nokia patent head Ilkka Rahnasto expects the first commercially available 5G NR phones to begin hitting the streets sometime in 2019 and says that Nokia's announcement is "an important step" in working the industry at large up to that milestone. Nokia has been instrumental in the leadup to 5G by bridging the gap with 4.9G technologies and has been hard at work both developing its own 5G solutions and partnering with carriers, manufacturers and even other networking giants to advance 5G technologies across the board. Nokia's own portfolio and contributions fall across the 5G range, including access points, small cells, IoT devices and more.