Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark (pictured) cited a substantial need for operators globally to invest in 5G beyond 2023 in its Q2 financial statement, where it reported a decline in investment in North America and macroeconomic challenges impacting its business.

The vendor flagged a cut in its annual forecast last week. It reported a 3 per cent year-on-year drop in net sales to €5.7 billion and a 37 per cent fall in net profit to €289 million.

In its mobile network business, Lundmark credited 5G deployments in India for offsetting weakness in North America, with overall revenue up slightly but operating profit down €85 million to €206 million.

Nokia’s fixed-line infrastructure unit also suffered, with overall revenue down 8 per cent, largely due to an 11 per cent decline in IP network sales.

Lundmark said macroeconomic challenges and “inventory digestion” highlighted in Q1 had intensified in Q2 and predicted “these trends to continue to impact our business” in H2.

However, he added the company expected mobile and fixed infrastructure businesses to have “some sequential improvement visible into Q4”.

“Looking beyond 2023, in network infrastructure we believe these impacts are mostly short-term in nature and that moving forward we see growth opportunities supported by the work we have been doing to diversify our customer base by growing in enterprise and web scale.”

“In mobile networks, there is still substantial need for operators to invest in 5G globally, with only approximately 25 per cent of the potential mid-band 5G base stations so far deployed outside China.”