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Nokia sets deadline for 5G launch in Europe at Santander Telecoms Summit

This blog is by Markus Borchert, Senior Vice President, Market Europe, at Nokia Networks.Twitter: @nokianetworks

There was a clear sense of urgency at last week’s 29th annual Telecoms Summit in Santander (Encuentro de las Telecomunicaciones), Spain’s biggest industry draw. As this year’s focus was on Strategies for the Digital Single Market, the Summit was a resounding 5G wake-up call for Europe.


It provided us the opportunity to highlight the future of the European mobile industry and the critical role 5G could play in a truly digital society with a ubiquitous, high speed communications infrastructure to connect both people and things.

5G is the platform that will enable the growth of many industries, but can especially help propel Europe to the forefront of the global mobile industry. But 5G needs a foundation in the network: without 4G, 5G will not be feasible. Therefore, 4G infrastructure is crucial when we want to lead in the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) with IoT. In other words, this is a wake-up call for those areas without 4G coverage in Europe as they will be the 5G white spots of the future and many 5G use cases will not be possible without seamless geographic coverage.

Operators and vendors, including Nokia Networks, are taking revolutionary steps in driving 5G research and standardization. Collaboration on an industry-wide scale together with policy makers is essential to accelerate the deployment of 4G and 5G development in order to be 5G launch ready by 2020. The message to Europe’s capitals was clear: we need to improve investment conditions now! Other markets are meanwhile making rapid gains, and seriously challenging Europe’s innovator position. Europe’s targets must therefore be ambitious, so that’s why Nokia proposes to make a big bang by having the first commercial full spec 5G roll-out in connection with the European football championship in 2020. Nokia is also willing to champion this initiative as one of the key partners for this launch.

Innovation with practical applications is key. For example, connecting homes to nearby fiber with Nokia Networks’ just launched 5G-ready massive broadband solution represents the first concrete step towards realizing some of the 5G benefits already in 2017. Our holistic programmable 5G multi-service architecture, provides a clear view on what type of network architecture is needed for future use cases, including not only people but mission-critical machine communications, and machine-to-machine connections for enhanced Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

5G will open up a realm of new possibilities for consumers, the economy and society as a whole. It will allow for massive traffic growth (peak data rate higher than 10 Gbps compared to the 300 Mbps LTE) with virtually zero latency and an explosive growth of the devices. It will also integrate pre-existing technologies, while lowering energy consumption. Future applications and industries such as innovative health care services and self-driving cars will transform the business of most industries with fully automated and self-organizing production processes.

The European mobile industry has a strong track record in innovation and developing new services but is currently lagging behind other developed markets in next-generation networks. A sustainable 5G ecosystem is necessary to help push Europe back to the forefront of the global mobile industry again.

Did you know? Nokia Networks collaborates with leading universities in Europe, the USA and China to make the 5G technologies as viable and future proof as possible. It also runs several 5G related industry projects in Europe, chairs the 5G-PPP industry association and is running 5G innovation projects with major operators including Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, NTT DOCOMO, Korea Telecom and SK Telecom.

Please share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – and join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #NetworksPerform #mobilebroadband #innovation #5G.

Markus Borchert

About Markus Borchert

Markus is Senior Vice President Market Europe, Nokia and President of DIGITALEUROPE. With 20+ years of international experience in the telecommunications, IT and IT Services industries, Markus is passionate about driving change, innovation, customer satisfaction, strategic breakthroughs and business turnarounds. He has 3 kids and loves golf, mountain biking and skiing.

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