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Turning dreams into oppor­tunities with future-ready communications

As India steps into its 76th year of Independence, the communication industry is poised to usher in a new era of digitization supporting the Prime Minister’s vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. As reiterated in his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi, the PM acknowledges that technology is critical to the success of the Digital India mission, and our aim of a 5-trillion dollar-sized economy.

The 5G spectrum auctions have now concluded, fetching the national exchequer over 1.5 lakh crore. The allocation of spectrum to the successful bidders is also now completed and 5G services are likely to be launched in the country by October.

It is amply clear that 5G will be the harbinger of a transformation in the Indian telecom industry. India is one of the largest markets for Nokia, and is also a significant manufacturing base for Nokia. We have been connecting people in India since 1995 – the first GSM call was made on a Nokia handset over a Nokia-built network, and now every call made in India touches a Nokia element. We are a firm that employs over 16,000 employees in India across manufacturing, global services, R&D, global security operations, sales, and enabling functions.

Nokia’s increasing 5G momentum amongst communications service providers and enterprises is being driven by advances in technology. With the new generation of ReefShark AirScale radio, massive MIMO antenna, and baseband products, Nokia is setting a new benchmark for 5G radio access network performance, capacity, and efficiency. We are present in all 5G early adopter markets, and are the only network supplier with 5G deals with the top four US CSPs, and the top three in both Japan and Korea. A growth area for us is network-as-a-service business models through partnerships with players like Verizon and AT&T.

For over 30 years, Nokia has defined many of the funda­mental technologies used in virtually all mobile devices and networks. These have increasingly included consumer products, and IoT-connected industrial equipment and vehicles. We have been instrumental in enabling entire solutions and eco­systems built on its GSM, 3G/UMTS, 4G/LTE, 5G, and now 5G-Advanced standards leadership.

Nokia’s standardization leadership position in 5G and 5G-Advanced is shaping how 5G will have real-world impact, changing the way we interact with each other, through the mass deployment of augmented, mixed/merged, and extended reality (XR). High-­performing mobility solutions are at the heart of each mobile communications system. Today’s 5G deployments largely rely on 3GPP Release 15 (the first 5G re­lease) mobility mechanisms with traditional network-controlled and user equipment-assisted handovers. Mobility innovations continue to be introduced in the different 3GPP releases and are one of the essential components of 5G-Advanced.

Nokia played a key role in driving the first set of globally interoperable 5G standards to completion with 3GPP Releases 15, 16, and 17. Now we are doing the same with 5G-Advanced, starting with Release 18. We lead the evolution for operator horizontal network expansion and enhancements for vertical industry sectors.

According to GlobalData, the total number of mobile 5G subscriptions will reach 4.1 billion globally by 2026. 5G services will generate USD 644.6 billion, equivalent to 64.0 percent of total mobile service revenue worldwide. 5G will be crucial in addressing the increasing connectivity demands, and easing pressure on congested 4G networks. It will drive fresh impetus around enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and consumption of 4k–8k video, augmented reality, virtual reality, real time gaming, edge computing, telemedicine, etc. The government estimates that in the coming time, 5G will contribute USD 450 billion to the Indian economy.

Nokia India is strongly placed to support our partners for a rapid rollout of the networks of the future, enabling faster and enhanced exchange of communication as well as mass usage of AI technologies for societal and industrial applications. We are looking at a time when a small farmer is able to deploy drones for better crop management; when robots are able to regulate traffic and prevent accidents; and when students are virtually transported to their classrooms even when sick at home! This, and much more, will be made possible very soon.

It may still not be as magical as the world of Harry Potter, but we should dare to dream big with 5G and beyond. As Dumbledore said to Harry, “For in dreams, we enter a world that is entirely our own.” Converting dreams into opportunities will help us make India a developed country by 2047.

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