Nokia ac­cel­er­ates 5G push to meet mar­ket ap­petite

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

Nokia an­nounced plans to broaden “its fo­cus into mul­ti­ple ar­eas of early 5G mo­bil­ity use cases”, in re­sponse to grow­ing in­ter­est in the tech­nol­ogy from op­er­a­tors in the US, China, Ja­pan and South Korea and ex­pec­ta­tions of a 2019 global de­ploy­ment.

The Fin­nish ven­dor said in a state­ment the move builds on 5G First, its so­called end-to-end bun­dle launched at Mo­bile World Congress this year aimed at op­er­a­tors which are keen to test and trial the tech­nol­ogy.

Nokia said there was “clear in­ter­est for 5G mo­bil­ity ap­pli­ca­tions”, in­clud­ing en­hanced mo­bile broad­band and ul­tra-low la­tency com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and it would now “push for ac­cel­er­ated 3GPP in­dus­try stan­dard­i­s­a­tion”.

The com­pany added the “mar­ket ap­petite points to mean­ing­ful roll­outs in 2019”, and it fur­ther called on gov­ern­ments and reg­u­la­tors to free up and en­able the use of spec­trum at low-, mid- and high­fre­quency bands for 5G.

Marc Rouanne, pres­i­dent of Mo­bile Net­works at Nokia, said evolv­ing the com­pany’s 5G strat­egy to “drive the in­dus­try rapidly to­wards adop­tion of stan­dard­s­based ap­pli­ca­tions” would re­quire “broad crossin­dus­try sup­port”. Suri con­cerns The an­nounce­ment comes a week af­ter CEO Ra­jeev Suri said in the com­pany’s Q2 earn­ings call that 5G was ac­cel­er­at­ing much faster than an­tic­i­pated.

He sug­gested the rapid de­vel­op­ment could cre­ate some near term risks for the com­pany, with the tim­ing of cer­tain pro­ject com­ple­tions now un­cer­tain.

“Our orig­i­nal ex­pec­ta­tion was that 5G would only re­ally take off in the 2020 to 2021 time pe­riod, that is now chang­ing, as we see some lead cus­tomers [in] both the US and China pre­par­ing to move ear­lier, and that should drive oth­ers to re­spond,” he said.

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