Nokia struck a framework agreement with US-based Export-Import (EXIM) bank to provide financing options for 5G equipment, a move which could help tackle recent weakness in the vendor’s broader North American sales.

The vendor and EXIM are now in negotiations over key terms of the agreement, which aims to provide finance options to Nokia’s partners to reignite its market for 5G equipment and related technologies.

Nokia claimed to be the first technology company to sign a deal with the bank, which will back the vendor as part of a programme designed to help US companies compete with global rivals.

The vendor committed to begin “reviewing ways to increase US investment, manufacturing and job protection”, along with creating roles. It pitched this as a continuation of its commitment to the North American region.

Nokia claimed leadership in terms of implementing a domestic purchasing programme for broadband infrastructure projects covered by the US Broadband Equity Access and Deployment scheme, a $42 billion initiative to close coverage gaps in the nation.

Lenny Floria, head of Regional Treasury and Structured Finance for the Americas at Nokia, said the partnership with EXIM would deliver “new investment and competitiveness in an increasingly vital space”.

“As technology continues to transform the global marketplace, ensuring a safe, effective and reliable communications capability will become absolutely paramount”.

North America proved a continuing frailty for Nokia in Q1, with sales down 38 per cent year-on-year following weak spending on mobile networks.

However, in earnings materials, the vendor noted a “strong order intake” for fixed line equipment from the region during the period.