5G is moving forward faster than Nokia (News - Alert) had initially expected, CEO Rajeev Suri commented during the company’s quarterly conference call with analysts. And while this new technology will open up new opportunities for Nokia and its peers, Suri said it will also create uncertainties in terms of timing. And that, he said, will mean “some near-term risk.”
That, and the fact that Nokia has seen rather flat sales, is not good news. However, on the upside, Suri said he is confident Nokia will meet the full year 2017 guidance for its Networks business operating margin and will reach 1.2 billion Euros in cost savings for 2018.
Related to 5G, Suri said he expects to see significant trials of the technology next year and “meaningful deployments” of 5G in China, the U.S., and elsewhere by 2019. Initially, he said, Nokia thought 5G would not take off until 2020 or 2021.
He also talked about how 5G is poised to be widespread and lead to investments in other aspects of networking. Given Nokia’s broad portfolio, that could be good news for the company.
Nokia’s successes related to 5G to date include its work with NTT (News - Alert) DOCOMO and T-Mobile. The company is in the process of developing a 5G ecosystem with NTT DOCOMO. And, as Suri noted, Nokia expects to play an integral role in T-Mobile’s 5G launch in the U.S. (Also, Nokia partnered with China Mobile (News - Alert) at Mobile World Congress this summer in Shanghai to demonstrate how Nokia’s 5G FIRST solution can be used for emergency patient care.
Speaking of that solution, Nokia today announced plans to expand it. That entails enhancing 5G FIRST with the 3GPP 5G Phase I protocol, a new air interface standard due at the beginning of 2018.
"There should be no doubt about the huge potential of 5G,” said Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “Through 5G FIRST, Nokia is evolving its 5G strategy to drive the industry rapidly towards the adoption of standards-based commercial applications – as early as 2019.
“Doing so will require broad cross-industry support, and we call upon regulators and governments to free up and enable the use of spectrum at low-, mid- and high-frequency bands for trials,” Rouanne added. “This will allow robust evaluation of 5G to take place, so that collectively, we can deliver one of the most important new technologies in history, one that will truly drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution (News - Alert)."
Edited by Alicia Young