Finnish city Oulu sees light at end of Nokia tunnel

From early December, the Finnish city of Oulu is trapped in darkness for all but a few murky midday hours, a darkness some feared might be matched by its economic prospects after big local employer Nokia hit the skids. Oulu, with a population of about a quarter million, was once a key Nokia R&D site, before the mobile maker was left for dead in the global smartphone race by Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google’s Android software. Nokia and its networks venture at one point employed about 5,000 people in Oulu, more than three times the next biggest private sector employer, but now it has work for less than half that. But despite the gloom, and an average annual temperature of 2 degrees Celsius (36F), the buds of a recovery are visible in Finland’s biggest northern city, 600 kilometers from Helsinki.


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