How Nokia is Powering Innovations in IP and Optical Space: Part I

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An Interaction with Nokia | TelecomDrive.com | Part I

Nokia is on the fore front of innovation when it comes to designing building blocks that will define a future-proof network. As telecom operators and CSPs move towards a 5G era – strengthening of IP and optical networks – is going to play a critical role towards designing future networks and Nokia will be right at the helm of it.   

CB Velayuthan, Vice President – Global Sales, IP & Optical Business, Nokia Networks interacts with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s latest innovations and how it is helping telecoms embrace 5G future in a better way.

So what are the key priorities for Nokia within the space of IP and Optical Networks?

Nokia is all about connecting people in terms of what we wanted to for that connectivity and making life, making the technology that helps to connect.  The world today is moving in an incredibly fast pace when it comes to connectivity but more and more on how data is used now.  It’s more around, no longer on coverage and all it’s about data and Nokia is right in the heart of that whole transformation in the world that’s happening.

IP and Optical Networks helps in Nokia’s strategy because that is the primary foundation of any network, any build out that needs to happen, it’s the underlying foundation for us to have an end to end portfolio on that. It gives us probably one of the most unique positions in the industry compared to most of our competitors today.

And in this space what are some of the big innovations that are being driven by Nokia?

People are all definitely very familiar with the radio technologies with 3G/4G and 5G and all of that because that’s a radio technology which is primarily about getting more efficient spectrum, using spectrum more efficiently so that high end data speeds can be given in to the end customers and in a larger way that’s what people are familiar.

To be able to enable that what that does is that people are using more data, to be able to enable that we need a platform behind it to connect the whole thing and that’s where IP and Optical comes into play.

So we actually at IP and Optical are constantly innovative to be able to provide much more faster bandwidths with the pipes that we have to be able to have much faster bandwidth and also larger capacity, so that we can actually lay the fiber and lay capacity under the ground or where ever we putting that and to be able to use that more efficiently and that’s what we do, so we are constantly working on innovating in that space and that’s also how why we are one of the leaders in the IP and Optical Networks in the world.

In today’s context a lot of operators are trying to do more with less utilizing their infrastructure to do more services and applications. So, how do you look at this space and what is Nokia doing in this space?

As the business, as demand grows, there is always more capacity that needs to build up but the revenue doesn’t keep up with the demand and capacity build up, so everybody needs to find different ways to be able to be more efficient.

For IP and Optical, we are coming up with new solutions which can actually double, triple and now be able to play six times the capacity of the existing networks.

We are actually very, very proud of what we have just launched, we just launched in June what you call is the latest silicon network processing chip called as the FP4.

Another challenge that most operators face is what is called DDoS. FP4 is the first processor which can actually detect DDoS attack and be able to filter and stop a large part of it. So, from a router we can actually see if there is a DDoS attack coming in from somewhere outside and we will be able to block it and will be able to make sure that it does not go on the network side. This is completely redefining the way networks are protected.

So as of now how many operators would be testing it or using it?

There are two types of organisations which are ideally going to use it – the larger two types that land up using IP and Optical Networks are some of the CSP’s, the telecom operators and the other one I think are the web scale players like Google or Facebook. These are the two large categories. And then of course, you have different verticals like the utility vertical etc.

When it comes to the Indian market how do you look at the opportunities in the fiber space especially in India as India, I think is still one of the countries where very little is been done as far as fiber connectivity is concerned, on the other hand, there is huge potential.

Absolutely! As data growth is going through this explosion, building a very strong fiber network now is mandatory, it’s a must.  You just need to have more and more fiber capacity.  Nokia is actually the number one in India in terms of the optical fiber network provider already and we are engaged with nearly all the operators in India.

We think the build out that we have done now to the operators is just the beginning. We have done with Reliance Jio over 90,000 kilometers, we are the sole supplier for the entire national long distance which is what connects the circle and city.

We are now in discussions with mainly all the operators about how we can help them to be able to build an optical fiber network which we think is actually absolutely important.

One more area where optical fiber is going to be important is – the national long distance how to connect between the cities and circle, and lots of advanced countries – between a base station antenna and the actual base station, they are now using fiber to connect.

To connect that to the antenna, they are using fiber and that’s called front-haul, optical front-haul.  That’s a very big trend now, we are deploying that in all the advanced countries in a big way and we think India will absolutely have to go on a similar path.

And as more and more operators build out base station networks in 4G and then in 5G, they’ll have to go in for fiber not only at the back-end but also in the front-end to be able to kind of connect the base stations, so this is another big trend which is going to future-proof networks in India.