Broadband, FWA to increase sales amid slowing 5G rollout: Nokia

Nokia's President and CEO Pekka Lundmark. (AFP)
Nokia's President and CEO Pekka Lundmark. (AFP)


  • Nokia’s president and chief executive, Pekka Lundmark, said net sales for mobile networks fell 19% from a year ago

NEW DELHI : Finnish telecom gear manufacturer Nokia is expecting the next wave of 5G site deployment to stem from increasing broadband reach, fixed wireless access, as well as a surge in 5G smartphone use.

This comes as telecom firms plan to cut capital expenditure on 5G sites for the short term, having successfully launched the fastest 5G network globally within a year, starting October 2022.

“There will be some moderation in 5G rollout. But, once the use cases of fixed wireless access and broadband increase 5G devices will start increasing as well as capacity utilization. Then we will again increase on 5G and rollouts will start happening again," Nokia’s senior vice president and head, India, Sanjay Malik, said in an interview with Mint.

Nokia’s president and chief executive, Pekka Lundmark, said net sales for mobile networks fell 19% from a year ago as “we saw some moderation in the pace of 5G deployment in India, which meant growth was no longer enough to offset the slowdown in North America". India sales were up 102% to €567 million for the quarter on the back of Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel’s roll out 5G networks. India is now the third largest market for Nokia.

The first phase of 5G rollout in India was one of the fastest globally, with the two telcos setting up more than 370,000 sites in a year, massively front-loading capex between October 2022 and October 2023.

The companies are aiming for a nationwide 5G rollout in India by March, though major deployments have been completed.

Malik said the development of use cases for 5G and monetization strategies by telecom companies will support vendors to move beyond the cyclic trough period.

With fixed wireless access expected to be adopted faster by consumers than enterprises it will influence monetization and increased data processing demands for telcos, necessitating installation of additional network capacity, he added.

At present, it imports FWA equipment and is evaluating if domestic demand will be adequate to make them locally, Malik said.

It makes 4G and 5G radio access network equipment in India for local consumption and for exports. It is also producing optical line terminal, that is required for fixed broadband.

On potential discussions with the third telecom player Vodafone Idea which is yet to launch 5G services in the country, Malik said that the discussions were going on.

“We are definitely engaged with them on the requirement for the network, and we have all the technical discussions which have been happening but that’s see how commercial discussions go over the next couple of quarters," he said.

Vodafone Idea has said that its 5G rollouts and services will linked with external funding that it expects to tie up within this quarter.

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