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

An Interaction with Nokia | | Part II

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 about the company’s latest innovations and how it is helping telecoms embrace 5G future in a better way.

What is your opinion on the future of networks? What should be the best strategy to look at, again utilizing the TDM part and moving towards an all IP regime?

Good point, I think it’s a problem that lot of operators will face because all networks kind of come in and grown to cater to the new age demands of customers. Most of the operators (except for Reliance Jio which is a green field operator) started from 2G/3G and they’ve been all kind of growing in.

The first thing that they need to really understand is how much capacity and what are the use cases that they are going to cater to.  And then they need to see whether they want to be only mobile data provider or a fixed kind of mobile data provider.

Then based  on that, then there’s enough technology now including what we do – to be able to take the legacy like you said the TDM Network and all that and we have solutions which can plug in TDM and convert that into IP and the other side and will be able to gradually expand your IP network and modernize that quite efficiently.

And now a little bit about the kind of challenges that you think industries are facing on the ION space, so if you can just elaborate.

I think most people underestimate data and one of the biggest challenge is how do you manage data? Data is growing and everybody is going to using data and they are going to start watching TV with data. Video will be very important, more and more calls will be on video and more than just calls you will start using media, streaming media on video.

The biggest problem is people have to be able to figure out how to manage that.  This is very complex because unlike voice, if four of us are sitting here and we all switch on video, the kind of capacity needed here and then we all go back to our places and then the capacity is not needed.

So it has to be very dynamically managed in a voice network, it has to be very, very intelligently, dynamically managed to ensure we all get good capacity, it can’t be that only I get it and you don’t and then you will switch off and then the experience won’t be good enough.  So we all need to be able to have data.

This is a big challenge and for this what we did in Nokia is that we have acquired a company just in February 2017 – called Deep Field. This company helps to actually to be able to understanding that visibility of the network.

To understand like we are sitting here in this place what are the applications that we are all using and by understanding that you can figure out how much data we need to give, what is the speed we need to have, and what we need to do and you can actually manage that better.

So, it’s into a very cutting edge technology of visibility of the data and also at the same time of providing security around attacks.  So that’s what we have done.

This is one of the biggest challenges every operator needs to figure out how to manage data and to be able to grow that. So it needs a lot of technology to be able to help manage that because if the user experience is not good, when somebody is seeing a video, they are going to immediately go to other networks, like the drop calls that people had when they were making voice call, we dropped a call, let’s go and change the operator!

We being the largest network provider in India, across mobile networks and also in the IP and Optical, we are very excited and being optimistic about what we can to with the operators over the next four years to be able to bring out the best experience.

And on the evolution front as operators move towards embracing 5G, how do you look at this whole future of ION?

You know 5G is going to be about two or three things, one is – it is going to be about massive data and large sized video content.  Moving forward, there will be more adoption of 4k video and you will see virtual reality coming in into live events.

It’s just going to shake the network, it will. Whether it is 4k video or VR – people will want amazing experiences, once you see that – that you are sitting in the middle, you are not physically in San Francisco but you are sitting in Gurgaon and you can see everybody around and it’s like you are almost there where I can turn around like that and you put in your glasses, you turn around with those glasses and you can see the guy next to you and the other one. This is an amazing experience.

Imagine the bandwidth required to enable that experience. So it is going to choke the network, but I can see that people will like it and they are going to demand for such an experiences.

VR is another incredible example, so the element first is data which is coming in, the user experience of people on demand is so high in terms of what you are talking about 5G and the trend that is there.

What are some of the challenges that operators need to prepare themselves for in such scenarios? 

Third thing which is also going to be very important for 5G in a big way is the whole area of Internet of Things or IoT. You are going to have everything connected, your fridge, your washing machine, your TV, everything is going to be connected on to the network.

This is actually going to bring in challenges that have not been foreseen by operators at all.  For example, in US, just a few months back, one of the networks started choking because there were these phone surveillance cameras, they were all connected to the network, but because they were not optimized with phones – so those cameras were giving a lot of signals back and overloading the network.

So, in this case it was just one small camera model which had the capability to bring down home network because of the load that it was creating and in such a stressful scenario – it is very difficult to find the issue in the network.

These are some of the challenges but the benefits of course are immense. The benefits of being connected I think far outweighs some of the risks but it’s a journey to go through and manage the challenges that we have.

That’s another element of 5G what 5G enables is the whole element of being able to get connected devices.  And the last one is going to be is security, how do you manage the security. How do you manage security of connecting these devices? In the above case that I discussed, even if I am not in control of selling the camera is there a way I can go and shut it off, right, that it doesn’t damage or overload the network.  Those are the challenges that everybody has to understand.