Nokia CEO sees US recovery starting this year

Jorma Ollila, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nokia, said he expects economic recovery to begin in the U.S. toward the end of this year, with Europe to follow slightly later.

But the CEO of the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer also said that he doesn't expect any significant investments coming from mobile network operators in the next 18 months, a Nokia spokesman confirmed Monday.

Ollila expressed views on the economy, the investment climate and developments at Nokia in an interview published Monday in the German business newspaper Handelsblat.

After nearly three years of a weak global economy, it's time for recovery, Ollila told the paper. The situation can't stay this way forever, he said.

At Nokia, handsets currently account for about 80 percent of the company's revenue, with network infrastructure accounting for the rest. This situation isn't likely to change in the next few years, according to Ollila.

Meanwhile, software has come to play an increasingly important role at the Espoo, Finland, vendor, as the company introduces handsets that provide a range of new services and content, Ollila said, adding that the company's staffing reflects this trend.

Around 15 years ago, only "a couple hundred" software engineers worked in Nokia's research department out of a total of nearly 2,000 people, according to the CEO. Of the 19,000 people employed in the department today, around 12,000 are software engineers.

And this development, Ollila said, "is far from over."

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