Nokia has partnered with Google Cloud unit to build 5G core network infrastructure and let clients offer services like smart retail, automated manufacturing etc. Nokia will bring its expertise in 5G network, while Google Cloud will provide the platform for launching apps. Cloud computing units of big tech firms are partnering with telcos ahead of the deployment of 5G network to corner a share in new businesses the new tech might enable.
IBM joined the league of US tech firms to launch a cloud platform for telcos to deploy 5G network. It has signed up with Nokia and Samsung as partners. IBM’s cloud, built on Red Hat technology, uses software instead of physical devices to do network functions. It will help telcos to build 5G networks faster, reduce costs and sell customised services to clients. The US govt, in the recent past, has been pushing tech giants to get more involved with 5G.
5G-enabled industries have the potential to deliver $8trn in value to the global economy by 2030, according to new Nokia’s 5G Business Readiness Report. Companies at an advanced level of 5G adoption were the only group to experience a net increase in productivity (+10%) following COVID-19. 72% of large companies will invest in 5G over the next 5 years. However, only 15% are currently in investing in its implementation and 29% do not plan to invest at all.
Telecos Orange Belgium and Proxium have decided to replace Huawei-made mobile equipment in Belgium and Luxembourg with Nokia gear. The two operators, as per the sources, faced political pressure to drop Huawei, following US accusations that its gear could be used for spying by Beijing. Belgium’s capital Brussels is the home to the EU’s executive body and parliament, making it a strategic location and a matter of particular concern for US intelligence agencies.
US satellite TV provider Dish Network, in its first deal with a traditional equipment supplier, has tapped Nokia to supply 5G core software. Nokia had distanced itself from other telecom firms by being an early supporter of Open RAN and had tapped with Japan’s Rakuten –first firm to use an Open RAN-based network. The dish will have a much larger footprint than Rakuten’s. Huawei’s ban has given space to Nokia, Ericsson to dominate the race of 5G deployment in the US.
Nokia will set up a robotics lab at IISc Bengaluru for research on socially relevant use cases. Nokia CoE for networked robotics will promote research in robotics, advanced communication technologies, AI. Use cases’ areas include emergency management, agriculture and industrial automation. Nokia will fulfil end-to-end tech needs with its cutting-edge tech expertise and IISc will engage its skilled faculty and researchers for robotic, drone research.
Nokia has launched software which can help telecom operators to upgrade their existing 4G radio stations to 5G, without replacing any hardware or even visiting the physical location. “This solution will save the telecommunications industry potentially tens of billions of euros in site engineering and re-visit costs,” Nokia said in a statement. The upgrade, at present, is immediately available for about 1mn 4G stations, 3.1mn by 2020 and over 5 mn in 2021.
Nokia is extending its CloudBand-based software products to power Bharti Airtel’s VoLTE network in India. Supporting 110M customers, this is India’s largest VoLTE network and largest Nokia-run VoLTE network globally. Airtel aims to provide faster, reliable network connectivity. It will use Nokia’s commercial off-the-shelf IT hardware, cloud-based VNF and will ramp down its 3G network to promote the deployment of spectrum-freed 4G/LTE services.
Chinese Telecom firms Huawei, ZTE have been labelled as a national security threat. Thus, the US, UK, Australia have banned equipment purchase from them. Germany, France are looking for alternatives. This gives huge space for competitors – Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia. Data theft, security implications will determine 5G vendors for India. Data integrity consideration will be more important than cost considerations.