Nokia boss dismisses 5G leadership battle - Mobile World Live

Nokia boss dismisses 5G leadership battle

24 APR 2019

Rajeev Suri (pictured) urged countries and operators to abandon confrontational 5G rhetoric and instead explore ways the technology can benefit everyone, while insisting the biggest industry opportunity lies in enterprise connectivity.

Speaking at the Brooklyn 5G Summit, Suri said that while everybody insists 5G is different to previous generations of mobile technology, it is still “talked about in the same confrontational and zero-sum way”.

Referring to the launch of 4G, which he said was described as an “arms race”, he noted there was already a “battle for supremacy” emerging between the US and China on 5G, while other leading nations are striving to take a leadership position.

“What if, to squeeze the most juice out of 5G, the question is not ‘who wins’, but ‘how do we all win?’” he asked.

Mad rush
Suri noted while the US won the first mover battle in 2018, followed by launches in South Korea and other developed markets set to follow, 5G launch timelines as a whole had pushed up by between 12 months and 24 months, bringing them more in line with what was originally expected.

“5G feels like a mad rush, not just for Nokia but for operators too,” he said. The executive added it could take four or five years to fully embed the technology and for operators to begin to see the true benefits emerge, which at this stage are unknown.

“No-one knows how it will develop. Like the rollout of 3G a few years ago, it takes time for the use cases to catch up with the potential and for this generation’s Ubers and iPhones to emerge,” he said.

Enterprise case
Offering his own predictions, Suri said the biggest value for operators in generating revenue will come from enterprise use cases, with the technology offering many industries left behind by digitalisation the chance to catch up.

“The one common factor in automation in going to be connectivity, and the value of connectivity in the enterprise. There is lot of value in that and lots of platforms on top, from analytics and connecting physical machines.”

From the mobile industry and from an operator standpoint, he added it was a chance to “reinvent the enterprise channel to be a lot smarter”.

Suri also said that security “will only get more important as telco-grade networks become available to enterprises”.

“Trade secrets will become more open on those networks. Resilience is a must and without security, there is no resilience,” Suri added.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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