Nokia looks beyond telecom to expand business in India

Urvashi Valecha Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 24, 2017

Finnish major eyes deals from cable operators, power and transport companies

In a bid to insulate itself from the ongoing crisis in the Indian telecom sector, networking major Nokia is diversifying its portfolio beyond mobile network operators to adjacent segments such as cable operators, power and transport companies and large enterprises that require IP network.

For instance, Nokia has transformed the existing network of Tata Power Delhi Distribution to a modern communications network to enhance power delivery to over seven million in its area of operation in North and North-West Delhi.

“The market is still flattish so our strategy is to go beyond the telecom space,” Sanjay Malik, Head of India Market, Nokia told BusinessLine. “We wanted to cover more of the customers outside the given telecom space. So we now serve utility companies, large enterprise businesses and webscale businesses. We are growing beyond the traditional path.

“Whether power utilities or gas companies, they are now putting their own very high-performance networks. Previously, they were more dependant upon a network provider; now they are dependant upon IP networks. So our IP portfolio fits very well with building such networks.”

Nokia is also big on the smart cities project and offering connectivity solutions that basically enables applications such as smart parking.

Betting on 5G

The big bet though for the Finnish company is 5G. Nokia has signed MoUs with Bharti Airtel to collaborate on a strategic roadmap for network evolution to 5G technology standard and the management of connected devices. With BSNL, Nokia has partnered to develop a 5G ecosystem in the country, and will jointly conduct 5G demonstrations and develop relevant and unique use-cases to provide ultra-high-speed and ultra-low-latency network to its subscribers. “The commercial deployment of 5G will start sometime in 2021. We have put up a 5G lab in Bengaluru, where we are looking at three kinds of applications. One is on whatever requires ultra broadband — the virtual reality kind of applications and other heavy usage applications. The second will be on massive connectivity, which will be for IoT (Internt of Things). And then the third will be on low-latency applications, which could be things such as remote surgery. We are demonstrating our technology and our infrastructure in our lab,” Malik said.

In line with the Make in India theme, Nokia is also manufacturing in its plant in Chennai. “All the latest supplies and products which we do for 4G in India, gets manufactured there. We are also exporting from there. When the shift happens to 5G and other technologies, we will manufacture that also,” he said.

Malik said India is one of the key strategic countries for Nokia. “Other than being a big market for Nokia, we have manufacturing units, global operations here, and a large R&D centre in Bengaluru. And from the growth perspective, we are contributing significantly to the global numbers.”

Keywords: Nokia, telecom business, new nokia business areas, telecom gear, nokia network, nokia’s focus ares

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Published on November 24, 2017
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