Nokia CEO believes 5G rollouts will happen in 2018

Many telecom operators along with equipment manufacturers have been working on to bring 5G technology into the market and it seems they are now accelerating the timeline of launching the t

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Apart from launching five new smartphones at MWC 2018, Nokia seems to have plans for the roll-out of next-generation 5G networks. While many telecom operators along with equipment manufacturers have been working on to bring 5G technology into the market, it seems these service providers are accelerating the timeline of launching the technology from 2019 to 2018.

Nokia CEO believes 5G rollouts will happen in 2018

 

Amidst such developments, Nokia's Chief Executive, Rajeev Suri has now stated that it has boosted Nokia's confidence of an uplift for its own business later in 2018. The telecom network industry, which has been mostly dominated by China's Huawei, Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson have also witnessed that the demand for 4G gear is falling.

Thus the first commercial 5G roll-outs are now expected to begin this year and Suri has further said that there will likely be large deployments in the United States, South Korea, Japan, and China.

"The confidence about where that 5G uplift comes from is understanding the accelerated timelines operators now have," Suri told Reuters in an interview just ahead of the Mobile World Congress that is currently taking place in Barcelona.

A year ago, operators were saying 5G rollouts would be big maybe at the back end of 2019, he noted. "Now, it has accelerated by almost a year, which is good news for the sector, because then they'll be the next wave of investment coming and we can base our timelines now off of knowing this."

Nokia also now struck a partnership agreement with China Mobile - the biggest mobile operator globally by subscribers - to develop new 5G networks for industrial uses across the world's most populous country. "Europe, however, so far lacks the catalysts for rapid, large-scale 5G rollouts, Suri added. "Far and away, the US and China activity will dwarf Europe ... (but) I think some 5G will be launched (in Europe) at some point in 2019," he said.

 

According to the executive, Nokia is well positioned for the 5G era, partly thanks to its 2016 acquisition of Franco-U.S. Alcatel-Lucent with the help of which Nokia was able to expand its portfolio. However, on Sunday, Nokia also hinted that it could strike a major deal with Vodafone, but the company did not provide further details.

Apart from 5G, Nokia also announced that it would be collaborating with social media giant Facebook on high-speed, fixed wireless access technologies, and would further acquire U.S. software firm Umium to boost its Wi-Fi product offerings.

Nokia has already stepped-up its capital spending to win future 5G upgrade deals. The company is also hoping for greater profitability this year.

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