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Nokia gets serious with 5G

Nokia’s customers’ combined networks support 5.7 billion subscriptions.Nokia

The Finnish telecommunications company has announced a string of deals all over the globe in a crucial year for 5G roll-out.

Nokia has been busy lately, mostly strengthening or launching collaboration in 5G trials that are aimed to test parts of the company’s comprehensive 5G network solution. The trials focus on crucial features of the 5G network, including network slicing, fixed-wireless access networks and a platform for IoT management. The trials are essential before large-scale roll-out, which is most likely to begin en masse by the end of 2020.

The company has reached an end-to-end deal with Saudi Telecom Company, which could be a sign of Nokia’s commercial and technological edge in the global race for 5G. The duo have agreed that Nokia will deliver its full 5G portfolio to support Saudi Arabia’s national aspirations to get a head-start in implementing 5G technology. The deliveries are to be completed by the end of 2020.

“The project underscores our support and commitment to the National Transformation Plan 2020 and the government’s Vision 2030 to drive Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation into a knowledge economy,” commentedNasser Al-Nasser, CEO of Saudi Telecom Company. “The leadership of our long-standing partner, Nokia, in the development of 5G is crucial for our launch of 5G services.”

Step by step towards end-to-end

In the IoT sector, Nokia will deliver its comprehensive IoT platform called IMPACT to Japanese company Rakuten. The platform effectively enables the deployment of IoT solutions in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and automotive, bringing the big promises of 5G lingo closer to reality.

Right next door to Japan, Korea Telecom will conduct test trials with Nokia’s solution for network slicing, which refers to the ability to optimise network capacity for different users in 5G connectivity. The tests are to be conducted by year-end.

In an important test for the implementation of 5G in a 4G environment, the Australian company Optus has decided to utilise Nokia’s FastMile indoor gateway solution for what will be the world’s first live fixed-wireless access network based on global 3GPP standards. Enhancing wireless broadband performance for homes and businesses across Australia, the gateways are designed to help customers and operators adjust to the 5G roll-out more smoothly while also enabling 4G connections for regions not yet on the 5G grid.

Elsewhere, Nokia and China Research Institute have conducted a successful field trial for a 5G virtual reality gaming application with Nokia’s machine learning-assisted cloud RAN technology. Another recent machine learning trial with Vodafone promises to boost 5G radio capacity. In India, Nokia has partnered up with Bharti Airtel in developing fronthaul solutions to greatly add network bandwidth and resiliency.

The company has also announced its participation in Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner ecosystem, further expanding its digital footprint in the social media giant’s connectivity initiatives. Facebook’s aim is to digitally empower people in emerging countries.

“We share Facebook’s commitment to bring connectivity to the many people of our world who, for reasons of affordability or lack of infrastructure, have no access to internet services,” said KathrinBuvac, chief strategy officer of Nokia.

By: Samuli Ojala