Nokia has fronted up to MWC 2019 saying its got ‘the right strategy at the right time’ to win at 5G, and heralding a number of ‘world firsts’ in its Australian 5G rollout.
“Nokia arrives at Mobile World Congress as a world leader in 5G, with the industry’s only end-to-end portfolio that is available in all markets around the world,” says Rajeev Suri, Nokia president and chief executive officer.
“We are remarkably well-positioned with more than 20 5G contracts, and almost 100 5G engagements with customers in every region of the world,” Suri says.
“We also believe that there will be a virtuous circle of investment as networks are upgraded to meet the demands of 5G and Nokia has the right portfolio at the right time to meet that need.
The company made a slew of 5G announcements in the lead up to MWC and continued those announcements at the event.
The announcements include the launch of a fixed wireless access FastMile 5G Gateway, delivering 10 to 25-times the speeds of LTE to residential and business subscribers.
Optus is the first operator globally to deploy the indoor gateway in a live network and successfully launch a 5G fixed wireless access service using the 5G New Radio standard.
The plug and play gateway, which Nokia says can achieve twice the indoor coverage, three times the downlink capacity and five time the uplink capacity compared to traditional designs, was recently used to stream 4K video services to some residential customers in Australia in a trial.
Allen Lew, Optus CEO, says the gateway will play an important role in the telco’s commercial 5G fixed-wireless access service.
“With Nokia’s solution, we are able to effectively leverage our existing mobile footprint to quickly provide new ultra-broadband services to customers using 5G FWA.”
Meanwhile a partnership with Vodafone sees the two companies demonstrating two new massive Multiple Input Multiple Output options at MWC: A RFIC based mMIMO antenna and a machine learning powered scheduler for 5G massive MIMO.
The announcements also included the launch of new additions to its AirScale small cells portfolio to extend the performance of 5G indoors and outdoors and enhancements to its Anyhaul transport portfolio to deliver throughput speeds of up to 25Gbps to base stations.
Nokia logged net sales of EUR22.6 billion last finical year, down three percent on the previous year, with operating loss at EUR59 million, up 16 percent year on year.
Nokia is counting on 5G – and that much touted end to end portfolio – to further boost its sales over the coming year, though the company acknowledges that it expects the first half of the year to be ‘soft’ with 5G rollouts staggered over the course of the year.
In announcing the financials earlier this year, Suri said Nokia’s view of a ‘fast and meaningful shift to 5G’ remained unchanged.
While Nokia is banking on 5G, so to are telco operators according to the Nokia 5G Maturity Index, released this week.
The index shows two-thirds of operators expect 5G to create new revenue streams, while more than 70 percent of operators are focused on 5G to help improve existing consumer services.
The most popular 5G use cases identified by operators included multi-gigabit mobile connectivity, connected cars and autonomous vehicles, tactile internet experiences such as augmented and virtual reality, critical healthcare monitoring, smart city apps and smart home services.