Nokia: Unleashing the Benefits of Private 5G Networks


Spotlight on 5G for Enterprise |

As digitalization continues to drive business transformation for industries – as a technology enabler, 5G is increasingly playing a critical role and this is where Private 5G Networks are gaining ground. Keeping this trend in mind, Nokia is powering a lot of innovation with the help of solutions designed around augmented reality, video and data analytics, AI/ML, edge cloud, IoT, network slicing, automation, robotics, NaaS etc.

Vinish Bawa, Head of Emerging Business and Webscale Nokia Networks, India speaks with Zia Askari from about the company’s current focus towards enterprise segment and its future plans.

What is the big focus for Nokia when it comes to targeting the enterprise segment?

When it comes to enterprises, Nokia is involved in a wide range of sectors around the globe and our industrial-grade private wireless is providing superior connectivity for customers in multiple industries worldwide. We are focused on enabling enterprises to capitalise on the benefits of private 5G networks while also identifying exciting new use cases to fuel innovation, revolutionise business models, and speed up digitalization.

5G technology is also designed for enterprise and businesses unlike the previous generation of technologies that focused primarily on the consumers. The enterprises will benefit from 5G’s fast speeds, low latency, and high capacity, that will help to improve their efficiency, safety, and. Some of the key segments to benefit will include manufacturing, energy, transportation, logistics, education, healthcare, etc.

Nokia’s private wireless solution is trusted by over 340+ enterprise clients worldwide in a range of vertical industries to truly unleash the digital transformation. Over the years, we have established ourselves as a reliable partner for businesses all around the world. The enterprise business for the India market is evolving and with the roll out of the 5G network and allocation of spectrum next year, the segment is expected to take a positive turn just like the global players.

How do you look at the upcoming technologies that will gain importance as far as enterprise connectivity is concerned?

The next generation of connectivity, especially in enterprises will prove to be of great importance for the businesses. The continuous growth of connected devices and automated systems will necessitate adoption of 5G if organizations are to support their transformation plans. As the enterprises pursue their transformation plans, their need for secure, dependable, scalable connectivity is bringing 5G to the forefront of digital strategy.  Many of the enterprises have already deployed 4.9G networks that allow them to connect billions of IoT-enabled devices and assets, and which will in turn provide a smooth evolution to 5G. According to a Nokia 5G report, the energy and manufacturing firms show the highest awareness of 5G, and are exploring its potential for advanced use cases including infrastructure maintenance, remote machine control, and cloud robotics as the need for remote operations have become a norm for every industry with the pandemic kicking in last year.

With digitalization transforming industries, the new generation communication networks will bring human augmentation technology and physical/digital fusion which create a whole new set of expectations for future networks. This is where these new age technologies such as augmented reality, video and data analytics, AI/ML, edge cloud, IoT, private networks, network slicing, automation, robotics, NaaS etc. would need a better form of connectivity such as the 5G network to leverage the best use cases for the enterprises.

Private 5G connectivity holds great potential for enterprise communities. How does Nokia look at this segment? And what innovations can we expect from Nokia here?

Private 5G connectivity for enterprises holds tremendous potential for industries to grow more dynamically and efficiently. With the coming of Industry 4.0, which will leverage the best use of private 5G network in the factories and enterprises, a next era of manufacturing has already started to emerge. The private 5G connectivity will enable industries to undergo the much-needed digital transformation as the asset-intensive industries move quickly to take advantage of the new age technologies.

Industry 4.0 and private wireless together will enable industries to fuse physical with digital processes by connecting all sensors, machines and workers in the most flexible, affordable and reliable way available.

Nokia’s Conscious factory in Chennai, India has already implemented a Private LTE network, which has delivered excellent results in terms of functionality, time consumption, production, remote working, safety, and zero human error. We were able to achieve 31% labour time reduction through robotic automation, save 31,000 man-hours through software robotic process automation and achieve 16% OEE improvement since the transformation.

We are at the global forefront of enabling the segment with private wireless network which is anticipated to be a key game changer for several industries. We are the market leader in private wireless globally. Customers all over the world are using our private wireless networks, which have been field-tested in some of the hardest environments on the planet.

What are some of the big innovations and disruptions that we can expect from Nokia in the year 2022?

Nokia is constantly evolving with the advent of new age technologies and introducing new innovative solutions for the customers. With the ongoing 5G Network trials in India, Nokia has partnered with all three service providers for a range of use-cases in the enterprise space which are ought to revolutionize the industries to the next level. Applications such as Intelligent Video Surveillance powered by 5G and AI will enhance the surveillance and security at various locations by real time detection of images of humans/objects thereby enabling quicker response in the factories. On the education front, immersive and experimental learning at schools, colleges and other institutions is one use case where students will be able to access the educational content across multitude of devices. With these 5G use-cases, we plan to enable the enterprise segment in India to align with the growing demand and functioning at an efficient rate.

Nokia Logo

Talking about innovations and new solutions, Nokia has launched the industry’s first cloud-native, mission-critical industrial edge solution in October this year to allow enterprises to accelerate their operational technology (OT) digitalization initiatives and advance their journey to Industry 4.0. The new industry-first MFA (MulteFire Alliance) certified 4.9G/LTE private wireless networking system, which was launched in June, is another example of our innovation which is intended to make private wireless available to a wide range of customers, applications, and markets around the world, and it can also be utilized by customers who do not currently have access to licensed spectrum.

In today’s scenario where digital transformation holds great importance, how can Nokia help enterprise in this space?

The dynamic transition of the global enterprises to digitalization explains why a robust digital infrastructure is critical for sectors to continue to flourish and keep up with the rest of the world. Physical industries have been slower than digital industries in adopting digitalization systems and platforms that drive efficiency and innovation. This is largely due to the need to deploy new and emerging infrastructure and technologies required to meet the stringent performance needs placed on many of their operations. With several years of strong ICT spend – during which digital industries outspent physical industries 70:30 in spite of having only 25% of the workforce and only 30% of GDP contribution. In the next decade, we expect physical industries to invest more in ICT and leverage end-to-end 5G technologies extensively, transforming themselves into augmented physical industries.

We envision a range of industries transforming to Industry 4.0 and this is where Nokia can help enterprises in India and globally with extremely reliable and secure wireless connectivity to undergo this digital transformation. Our private wireless solution unifies all business-critical IoT applications onto a single network and enables high-bandwidth, low-latency, ultra-reliable, and secure wireless connectivity for industrial machines, IoT devices, autonomous vehicles, and connected workers.

This tremendous shift across enterprises will not only result in a significant value inversion in areas such as safety, productivity, efficiency, and resiliency, but it will also result in more job opportunities, higher wages, and increased government revenues. We estimate that the formulation of this economic equation, which will be catalysed by 5G+ enabled digitalization, will boost global GDP by $8 trillion by 2030.

This interview is published in the December 2021 issue of Disruptive Telecoms