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Nokia Global Analyst Forum 2021

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There were many highlights in the recently concluded Nokia Global Analyst Forum. Nokia shared its vision and strategy (Reset—Accelerate—Scale), and showcased its product leadership, R&D commitments, and focus on customer experience. Nokia also showed how its strategic plans map to market trends, and how the company contributes to environmental sustainability through technology leadership and innovation. The ability to meet communications service providers (CSPs)’ needs for simplification (reducing complexity) and monetization of assets is key. Value will increasingly be created from partner ecosystems. 

Nokia’s Vision through 2030

Nokia foresees the emergence of specialized networks. Networks will evolve (e.g., network of networks, Network as a Service [NaaS], and network as code) to meet market demand for new capabilities. Key themes include: cloud-native, AI/ML, and software-led. For CSPs, changing consumption models for applications and software are anticipated. 

The market dynamics among cloud hyperscalers, network equipment providers (NEPs), and CSPs were discussed as well. A different market landscape will arise and Nokia intends to capitalize on this through its ecosystem partnerships. A tighter, dynamic coordination between cloud infrastructure and networks will clearly be required. It is not possible for a single vendor to provide everything along the extended service chain. Consequently, partner ecosystems are essential.

Technology Leadership

Nokia also took the opportunity to showcase the competitiveness and range of its product portfolio in cellular and fixed-network infrastructure, and software solutions. Like all other NEPs, embracing the cloud is inevitable. On the topic of CSP automation, there is clearly an aim towards closed-loop, intelligent automation which has to be business-intent driven and secure at the same time.

5G Advanced (which is expected to manifest the fullest capability of 5G) is anticipated around the end of 2023.  Nokia placed importance on private wireless networks as a 5G growth driver and highlighted mmWave as well. Also emphasized are Nokia’s activities in the O-RAN Alliance and its ambition to be a leader in open RAN. Topics du jour such as near real-time RAN Intelligent Controller [RIC] and xApps were covered.

On the fixed-network side, broader market and specific trends (e.g., passive optical networks [PONs], submarine cables, software-defined network [SDN], software-defined access network [SDAN], and disaggregated access) were touched on as well. 

Final Thoughts

It is great to see Nokia in the thick of things addressing key market trends, opportunities, and challenges. Throughout this forum, Nokia has shown its willingness to assume risks to claim market leadership. Complemented by its focus on customer success, Nokia is well positioned for the future.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing analyst and not that of neXt Curve.

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