It’s the weekend and we are heading in to London on a suburban train. My teenage son is trying to stream the latest on-demand series on his smartphone and finally gives up. ‘This is so pathetic’ he says ‘ Why can’t I watch this like at home?’ Then comes a completely unexpected statement. ‘Mum, when is this 5G thing you talk about going to be ready? I need it, like now!’ To tell the truth, I was never entirely sure that he listened to anything I said over dinner. But as it turns out, not only had he listened, he also understood that 5G has the higher speeds, greater capacity and low latency and could benefit him directly. 5G had grabbed his imagination!
We have come to expect fast, flawless connectivity and fast response times, whether we are at home, in the office, out and about or on the train. But getting that ‘fiber-like’ experience everywhere seemed a distant prospect until 5G arrived.
We can do great things on current networks, but as we connect more devices, machines and chips to our communications networks and use greater bandwidth for content, there will be increased competition for capacity and resources - not just to support leisure and gaming activites, but for much of our industrial landscape and smart city infrastructure. 5G is a way to ensure that everyone gets the services and experience they expect and need.
Our CEO, Rajeev Suri, speaks passionately about the 4th Industrial Revolution and the social and economic benefits it can deliver. The vision of the 4IR is underpinned by enabling technologies such as 5G that deliver the much needed network capacity, speed, latency and intelligence.
Communications Service Providers of course see this dual need to support ever greater capacity demands, as well as the new use cases for manufacturing, logistics, public sector and infotainment. However, they hesitate. ‘How much will 5G cost?’; ‘Can we make money out of 5G?’ ‘Can we squeeze a bit more out of what we have already?’
CSPs can start small by upgrading their radio access software and and maintaining the connection to an existing LTE core network if increased capacity is all they need, but capacity is not all CSPs need. They see their role as central to a flourishing digital enconomy. They need to offer new digital services and support new operating and business models across industry verticals – and this requires more than a radio only upgrade. Delivering a new kind of business requires a network capable of higher speeds, greater spectral efficiency, a cloud native core and a coherent, end-to-end framework. CSPs need to deploy a fundamentally different infrastructure to meet the needs for greater capacity, latency and extreme reliability. CSPs need a vendor partner that delivers on both of those needs – a transformed network and greater revenue potential.
This is where Nokia’s 5G Future X architecture comes in to play. It provides the framework for those strong first steps to 5G and beyond. It means that CSPs will have a smart network fabric with cloud native platforms, using AI tools and our digital trust framework that enable 5G network slicing for monetizing those new use cases, while efficiently using precious spectrum.
We also have a range of business planning tools to identify the costs and revenue upside. And Nokia already has a range of 5G proof points. We are engaged with more than 70 CSPs who are evaluating and deploying our 5G solutions.
Whatever your plans for 5G, the important thing is don’t delay. It is closer than you think. The opportunity is there for the taking.
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