15 things we learnt from Nokia

Nokia Net­works gave those con­gre­gated at the ITU Tele­com World in Doha a taste of the fu­ture.

Qatar Today - - DEVELOPMENT -

"Right now peo­ple in ad­vanced economies use, on an av­er­age, 2-3 GB of mo­bile data per month. Within a few years, this will in­crease to 1 GB a day."

Joachim Wuil­met, Head of Cus­tomer Mar­ket­ing, Mid­dle East, Nokia Net­works

Inthe ex­tended dis­cus­sion we had af­ter that with com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Qatar To­day came away with some ex­cit­ing in­sights into what's ahead for mo­bile broad­band. Here's the meat, mi­nus all the trim­mings. With Ad­nan Kureshy, Head of Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, MENA; and Joachim Wuil­met, Head of Cus­tomer Mar­ket­ing, Mid­dle East

Look­ing Ahead

1 Nokia Net­works broke its own speed record by demon­strat­ing a mo­bile net­work that can de­liver 4.1 Gbps. It was achieved by ag­gre­gat­ing 10 car­ri­ers. Com­mer­cially, the best we can do right now is the ag­gre­ga­tion of two fre­quency bands. This is called LTE-A in the in­dus­try.

And even this feat is some­thing only 20 op­er­a­tors in the whole world can boast of be­ing able to do. Th­ese kinds of speeds and ca­pac­ity will be nec­es­sary for the re­al­i­sa­tion of the In­ter­net of Things. The 50 bil­lion de­vices which will sup­pos­edly be con­nected by 2025 will need this kind of ad­vance tech­nol­ogy to han­dle traf­fic through­put.

2 While it's hard to pre­dict the fu­ture, mo­ments like th­ese serve to give you a glimpse. It's not just a con­cept any­more, it's a re­al­ity. The tech is there but com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion needs to catch up. And why would any­one even want need th­ese kinds of speeds on their mo­bile phones?

Peo­ple in ad­vanced economies use, on an av­er­age, 2-3 GB of mo­bile data per month right now. Within a few years, this will in­crease to 1 GB a day, with the main driver be­ing video traf­fic. South Korea is one the world's big­gest mar­kets where video is con­sumed on mo­bile hand­sets. The sec­ond largest, in­ci­den­tally, is Saudi Ara­bia.

3 This ex­plo­sive rate of data us­age is ex­actly with the flat rate of pric­ing by tele­com op­er­a­tors is not sus­tain­able. Be­cause op­er­a­tors now gen­er­ate more rev­enue from data than tra­di­tional tele­com ser­vices like voice or texts. In some ex­treme cases, this is as high as 75% of the to­tal rev­enue. The chal­lenge for op­er­a­tors now is to ad­dress driv­ing the right pric­ing model for data. Also peo­ple are more will­ing to pay more for data, be­cause it is in­creas­ingly be­ing con­sumed as en­ter­tain­ment rather than means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion (and peo­ple don't mind pay­ing more for en­ter­tain­ment).

4 The world is go­ing data. Even voice is be­com­ing a data ap­pli­ca­tion. Nokia Net­works have pre­vi­ously demon­strated VoLTE ( Voice of LTE) and have even started their first de­ploy­ment glob­ally. It has proved to be very ben­e­fi­cial in terms of spec­trum ef­fi­ciency, voice qual­ity, call setup time, etc.

5 We are still only in the be­gin­ning stages of com­mer­i­cal­is­ing LTE-A but its cur­rent adop­tion rate is even faster than that of 3G and 2G dur­ing their time. This will fur­ther ac­cel­er­ate as the com­bined ef­fect of net­work evo­lu­tion, more spec­trum al­lo­ca­tion, in­creased user de­mand and de­vice avail­abil­ity. The lat­ter is one of the rea­sons why net­works Ja­pan and South Korea are a bit more ad­vanced in LTE-A tech­nol­ogy be­cause of­ten hand­sets that have the spe­cific ca­pa­bil­ity are avail­able in th­ese mar­kets be­fore they are de­ployed glob­ally.

An in­tro­spec­tion

6 Af­ter Nokia sold its hand­sets busi­ness to Mi­crosoft last year, it has con­cen­trated its fo­cus on three key ver­ti­cals – Nokia Net­works, HERE and Nokia Tech­nolo­gies which is in­volved in in­tel­lec­tual

"The pre-stan­dard, pre-com­mer­cial ver­sion of 5G should be avail­able for the 2018 Korean Win­ter Olympics. For Qatar 2022 World Cup, the 5G as an in­dus­try will likely be com­mer­cially ready."

Ad­nan Kureshy, Head of Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, MENA, Nokia Net­works

prop­erty and in­no­va­tion. While their com­peti­tors are try­ing to be “ev­ery­thing for every­body”, they are work­ing to­wards so­lid­i­fy­ing their po­si­tion as a mo­bile broad­band spe­cial­ist.

7 Their tim­ing couldn't have been more per­fect with the world mov­ing faster to­wards mo­bile broad­band era. This al­lows for more things to be done through their net­works than what was pos­si­ble be­fore thanks to higher through­puts and more band­width than fixed line busi­nesses.

8 Though Nokia is no longer con­sumer fac­ing, it has al­ways been about peo­ple and con­tin­ues to do so. They are ex­pand­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of the con­nected world, keep­ing peo­ple at the cen­tre so that hu­man as­pi­ra­tions can be served more ef­fec­tively by tech­nol­ogy.

9 Since last year, Nokia has pur­chased a num­ber of small com­pa­nies work­ing in spe­cific tech­no­log­i­cal ar­eas that will make the com­pany more ef­fi­cient and in­no­va­tion.

One ex­am­ple of this is a com­pany that deals with pre­dic­tive op­er­a­tions. With the rapid pro­lif­er­a­tion of 4G and the in­evitable ad­vent of 5G, net­works will be­come in­creas­ingly more dif­fi­cult to man­age.

The com­pany is work­ing on analysing big data us­ing ma­chine in­tel­li­gence to learn to pre­dict pat­terns (in traf­fic, for ex­am­ple) that will al­low them to man­age the net­works more ef­fec­tively in ad­di­tion to pre­dict­ing fail­ure and proac­tively fix­ing it.

One re­gion, many needs

10 While Nokia Net­works helped Oore­doo roll­out the state-of-the-art LTE-A net­work in Qatar, it is also in­volved in de­ploy­ing 3G in Iraq in part­ner­ship with Zain Iraq. Noth­ing could be more in­dica­tive of the di­ver­sity in the re­gion.

11 There are still net­works in MENA that haven't gone 3G. But by­pass­ing 3G and jump­ing di­rectly to 4G isn't the right op­tion ei­ther. Among the many things we must con­sider, is that 3G de­vices can be bought at a more af­ford­able price.

“There is noth­ing wrong with 3G. Ev­ery­one needs to go to at their own pace, depend­ing on re­quire­ment.” In the re­gion, the mar­ket is di­verse. From the high­est ARPU to low­est. The chal­lenges are the same - ev­ery­one wants con­nec­tiv­ity. And we want to connect the un­con­nected world in the most ef­fi­cient, faster and cost ef­fec­tive way.

12 Iraq is a par­tic­u­larly hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment by Nokia says it is keen to sup­port their cus­tomers in all kinds of chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances. And help­ing coun­tries like Iraq de­velop their mo­bile broad­band ca­pa­bil­i­ties is dou­bly im­por­tant con­sid­er­ing the ef­fect it can have on ed­u­ca­tion, health, in­for­ma­tion shar­ing, etc. So Iraq's new 3G net­work (which is pending reg­u­la­tory ap­proval and is likely to be de­ployed in Jan­uary) is a fan­tas­tic step, When the right time comes, de­vices at­tain the right scale and the price ero­sion con­tin­ues, the move to 4G will hap­pen.

5G, cloud and more

13 5G is the next era of things to come that will connect de­vices in scale that is not pos­si­ble with 4G. When it is de­fined and com­mer­cialised, it'll bring in­no­va­tion and serve the ecosys­tem of the wealth­i­est and most ad­vanced economies to ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties that are dif­fi­cult to connect.

14 Work hasn't started se­ri­ously on 5G yet. A lot a frame­work needs to come to­gether be­fore that, de­bated and dis­cussed by all the stake­hold­ers - the ITU, coun­try reg­u­la­tors, man­u­fac­tur­ers like Nokia Net­works, op­er­a­tors, ven­dors and de­vice man­u­fac­tur­ers. We need 10 times more spec­trum that is avail­able cur­rently to drive this growth and reg­u­la­tors have to start al­lo­cat­ing this. Once the stan­dards are de­fined and ready (which might not be be­fore 2020), the R&D can start. The pre-stan­dard, pre-com­mer­cial ver­sion of 5G should be avail­able for the 2018 Korean Win­ter Olympics. For Qatar 2022 World Cup, the 5G as an in­dus­try will be com­mer­cially ready.

15 Cur­rently we have ded­i­cated hard­ware and soft­ware for op­er­ate the net­work. But the in­dus­try is mov­ing to­wards us­ing stan­darised plat­forms with spe­cialised soft­ware run­ning on top of that. The fu­ture of tele­com is a pro­gram­mable world, run by soft­ware. That al­lows op­er­a­tors to be a lot more flex­i­ble. This means that if a net­work needs 1000 times more ca­pac­ity, you wouldn't have to spend 1000 times more money. They can adapt and change net­work con­fig­u­ra­tion with­out hav­ing to change the hard­ware. It's to­day's static ca­pac­ity vs to­mor­row's liq­uid ca­pac­ity. For ex­am­ple, if there is a con­cert in a sta­dium, the ca­pac­ity can be in­creased for that short du­ra­tion to han­dle the thou­sands of peo­ple who will be up­load­ing pic­tures and videos. Cloud tele­com will help us put the ca­pac­ity where there it is needed

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