Home5GNokia counts 120 private LTE customers, widens spectrum support, intros new devices

Nokia counts 120 private LTE customers, widens spectrum support, intros new devices

Nokia has deployed private LTE networks with more than 120 customers across multiple industries and geographies, it has revealed. 

The Finnish vendor said it had deployed almost two in five (37 per cent), on average, of its total private wireless networks in Europe, followed by a little over one in four (27 per cent) in North America; a further one in five (20 per cent) are in Asia Pacific. Latin America and the Middle East and Africa region provided around one in 10, each — 10 per cent and eight per cent, respectively.

Its biggest customer sectors for private networks are in energy and smart cities, which have taken 35 and 32 deployments, respectively — accounting for over half (56 per cent; 29 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively) of the total installations. The transportation and manufacturing sectors comprised most of the rest (29 per cent; 24 and 11 deployments, respectively). Other industries contributed 18 in total.

It may be noted, Nokia counts mining and oil and gas companies in the energy segment, and sundry sea ports, air ports and rail ports in the transportation segment.

At the same time, Nokia has expanded its offer across the entire private wireless solution, it said. These additions include the launch of the industry’s first MulteFire industrial devices, affording private LTE deployments in unlicensed spectrum running at 5 GHz, 2.4 GHz, 1.9 GHz, and sub 1 GHz. Nokia has been among the principle champions of MulteFire, a pioneer technology in the liberalisation of radio spectrum for dedicated cellular deployments.

As well, Nokia has announced general access (GAA) “CBRS readiness” with involvement in many ‘initial commercial deployments’ and certification with ‘spectrum access system’ (SAS) solutions partners, along with support for vertical LTE spectrum bands including the B43 band in Germany, the B28/38 bands in France, the 450MHz B31/72 band generally, and the B53 band for Globalstar.

The announcement comes as Nokia has confirmed new deals with a partners in the industrial networking space, including with telecoms providers (including Telefonica Peru, Globalstar, and A1), cloud providers (notably Microsoft), industrial partners (including Hitachi, Kalmar, and Komatsu), systems integrators, and strategic consultants and other industry specialists. 

Nokia quoted forecasts from ABI Research, that private wireless market will be worth $ 16.3 billion by 2025. 

Kathrin Buvac, president of Nokia’s enterprise division, said: “We have doubled-down our investments in R&D and human capital to create the most complete private wireless solutions portfolio in the market. Our industry expertise is reflected in the breadth of our customers, including more than 120 heavy-asset leaders in the mining, manufacturing, ports, utilities and airports sectors.” 

Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at ABI Research, commented: “Nokia is arguably the first telecom infrastructure vendor that has invested significant R&D and effort in addressing enterprise verticals, and this announcement illustrates that Nokia is listening to end users.”

He added: “The time is right for Industry 4.0, since many industrial applications and digitalization efforts can benefit today from LTE; in addition it is a vital step to promote the adoption of cellular technology at enterprise verticals and lay the foundation for future advanced 5G use cases.”

Karl Bream, head of strategy at Nokia’s enterprise business, commented: “Right now, there is tremendous appetite and momentum for private wireless networking as we see a ‘coming together’ of key enablers that differentiate our proposition.”

Nokia is pushing the latest incarnation of LTE, dubiously titled ‘4.9G’, as a secure and reliable networking option for industry, which supports a wide array of digital-change applications, and provides platform for the introduction of 5G, and particularly of massive machine-type communications (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC), as specified in the 3GPP’s Release 16 of the 5G standard.

Bream said: “4.9G has proven its ability to provide reliable, secure, high-capacity connectivity. And, spectrum availability is opening up with the availability of shared and unlicensed networking options, such as CBRS and MulteFire.”

Of its 120 private LTE contracts, Nokia highlighted its work with the Port of Kokkola, Port of Oulu and Vienna Airport in the transportation sector; with Minera Las Bambas in the energy sector; Sendai City and Nordic Telecom/Czech Republic in the public sector space; and China Unicom/BMW and Ukkoverkot/Konecranes in the manufacturing sector.

It has also announced extended spectrum support for its LTE-enabled IP/MPLS field area networking router, with the new 7705 SAR-Hmc, a second-generation 5G-ready wireless core for enterprises with expanded capabilities, increased capacity, and concurrent 4.9G/5G operation; and an “end-to-end” private connectivity solution for Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform, allowing for more rapid deployments.

Nokia has also confirmed a partnership with the US-based systems integrator DXC Technology. Kari Järnström, managing director of the firm’s Finnish business, said: “I’m excited to cooperate with Nokia to guide organizations on their digital transformation journeys. We see the potential in the synergy between Nokia’s solutions for private LTE and DXC’s knowledge and experience in integrating digital innovation into mainstream IT in key industry verticals.”

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