News emerged out of the Sino-German Economic Forum that Nokia and China Mobile (News - Alert) had signed an agreement valued at around 1.36 billion Euros. The agreement not only stretched through the remainder of 2016, but called for projects on several levels of operation.
Under the agreement, Nokia Networks China and ASB (News - Alert) would work to get China Mobile's infrastructure switched over to a cloud-based one that boasted a greater flexibility as well as better connectivity that addressed the growing demand for mobile bandwidth in the country. Additionally, the agreement calls for Nokia (News - Alert) to bring its AirScale Base Station to China, which is supports several different radio technologies and is designed to support 5G when it is ready for deployment in the region. Scalability is said to be “virtually unlimited” with the AirScale, which is also being promoted as a base for Internet of Things (IoT) operations.
In addition, as part of the agreement Nokia will be providing several other capabilities including Internet protocol (IP) routing tools, optical transport systems, fixed access systems, customer experience management, and more. That, along with further cooperation between Nokia and China Mobile, will give rise to a set of closely-defined products and services that should help take some of the bite out of a rapidly-growing number of mobile-device users in the region. In fact, for 71.5 percent of new users, mobiles are the communications platforms of choice for accessing the Internet.
Nokia Networks China and ASB's president of the joint management team, Mike Wang, commented “This is a highly significant agreement with our longstanding partner; it strengthens Nokia's position as a leading provider of next-generation technologies in China, and reflects our larger footprint in the country following the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert). We are committed to delivering mobile broadband capabilities that will allow operators to optimize their networks and open up new opportunities for them and their subscribers.”
It's true that the mobile network in China is heavily used. China boasts over 688 million Internet users, and of these, 620 million are mobile device users. To put in context, that is approaching double the United States' entire population. And, those of us who live here know firsthand the challenges operators have with access and quality of service (QoS).
5G may well solve some of these issues. However, 5G is several years off, and China Mobile in a hotly competitive market, needs to look not only to the future but also to the needs of current and near-tem prospective users.
Edited by Peter Bernstein