How Nokia is driving intersection of networks with Cloud, SDN and NFV


A Spotlight on Wireless Access

As global networks are stretched to their limits by addition of huge number of devices and data – operators need to incorporate efficient and agile wireless access strategies in order to do more with less. This is where Nokia’s solutions can play an important part in defining the future-ready network possibilities.

Randeep Raina, Head of Technology, Nokia India speaks with Zia Askari from about the way Nokia is positioning its innovations in the wireless access space and how evolution towards 5G will open up a new world of opportunities to connect the unconnected.

Wireless access seems to be the best way to connect the unconnected. How is wireless access evolving to meet challenges of the future?

Wireless access is evolving at a fast pace towards higher data-speed with lower latency and supporting more and more number of devices. The network thus will enable a fully mobile and connected society. Technology is advancing towards usage of licensed, unlicensed and a mix of both spectrums with further enhanced techniques for high spectral efficiency.

How best should wireless access be enabled inside smart cities and new townships?

Smart city is a complex ecosystem with many stakeholders. It is important that city administration deploys reliable and secure wireless access apart from wireline IP broadband network infrastructure for the use for applications, anytime and everywhere. Wireless access would form an important part of connectivity and help to provide uniform platform for smart city applications.

What are some of the best practices that can be followed?

The Administration & regulatory bodies may layout clear guidelines for wireless access networks, authentication mechanism etc. Data usage policies & governance structure must be clearly defined and increased awareness around the benefits of the initiatives along with citizen participation should be encouraged.

What are some of the big innovations that are being spearheaded by your organization today?

Nokia is in the forefront in building the technology and leading compact site solution. With its portfolio, it offers a wide set of options for network deployment based on varieties of use case(s).

It brings innovative products around the licensed, and unlicensed spectrum augmented with its edge computing capabilities for a better user experience. Nokia operates at the intersection of networks, supporting Cloud, Software Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization technologies.

Nokia is at the crossroads of intelligent analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning which is critical in the programmable world. To grow the IoT ecosystem, we are leading the convergence of infrastructure and devices. Nokia helps in providing best services by maximizing the performance of network infrastructure and blurring the lines between mobile, fixed and hybrid network technologies.

Our portfolio doesn’t limit us to traditional service providers, technology-led enterprises, webscale players, public sector and consumer markets. But, we are also addressing many societal segments, including healthcare, transportation, energy, smart cities and public safety.

In a future of 5G, IoT era how can wireless access solve the issue of spreading connectivity to rural areas?

Due to low rural population density and their technology need, the cost of deploying fiber or dedicated wireless network is prohibitive. In such circumstance, a shared wireless network with innovative solutions like “LTE To The Home” help in connectivity and providing a decent broadband coverage to the remote and rural areas.

5G performance targets stretch far beyond speed and capacity, including lower costs for connected sensors, low energy, zero latency and more. 5G will enable very diverse use cases, each with requirements that vary between extremes. 5G will be the first mobile generation designed from the beginning for machine type communication.

5G is the new generation of radio systems and network architecture delivering extreme broadband and ultra-robust, low latency connectivity and massive networking for the Internet of Things to enable the programmable world, which will transform our individual lives, economy and society.

What 5G will be good for and what technical requirements that imposes on the network have become quite clear. The industry has widely adopted Nokia’s view that 5G will be about people and things as per the following three use case categories:

1. Massive broadband that delivers gigabytes of bandwidth on demand
2. Critical machine-type communication that allows for the immediate, synchronous eye-hand feedback that enables remote control over robots
3. Massive machine-type communication that connects billions of sensors and machines

A key design principle for 5G networks is flexibility, to cater to unknown use-cases of the future. And related to flexibility is another key design principle of ‘reliability’. With the flexible integration of different technology components, we will see a step away from best effort mobile broadband towards truly reliable communication and bridge the digital divide.

In your opinion what are the top three challenges that lie ahead in this space today? How can these be solved?

Better use of unlicensed spectrum, proper policy for its usage, wireless access security in unlicensed space can be areas that needs to be addressed to remove hurdles in this space.