Nokia aims to lead the pvt 5G in India
Nokia aims to overtake its rivals and lead the Indian market for private 5G which the Finnish telecom gear creator hopes to become a $240 million market by 2027 with a deployment potential of more than 2,400 sites across India.
“We have had a leadership position in private networks across the world and we have more than 500 deployments globally. This business is growing very fast and we see the same kind of trend in India too," Nokia India chief marketing officer Amit Marwah said in an interview.
According to the Nokia Mobile Broadband Index report issued on Thursday, Indian investments in private wireless networks is expected to reach around $240-250 million by 2027.
Marwah said the first few private networks are expected to start coming up in the next couple of quarters, mostly in the segments of transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, and utilities, which are set to see the largest share of enterprise investments.
The government is yet to finalize the strategy for giving out 5G airwaves for 5G private networks to enterprises through administrative allocation, for which it has to decide on the bands of the airwaves as well as pricing of the airwaves that will be given outside of an auction.
Nokia is looking at opportunities on its own as well as through its partnerships with telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio which own 5G spectrum. The company will compete with Swedish rival Ericsson which has set up a separate unit to scout for private 5G network deals and also partner with telcos to provide 5G solutions to enterprises.
Marwah added that fixed wireless access or FWA services for consumers are also set to expand this year as the segment had seen good growth over the last 18 months. Nokia is also expanding manufacturing of optical line terminals at its factory in Sriperumbudur, Andhra Pradesh in response to increasing demand from local customers in India, and to cater to international markets amid higher investments by industry and government in broadband and fiber connectivity.
Jio and Airtel intend to broaden their fixed wireless business segment with Jio targeting 100 million homes connected through fiber in the coming years.
On 5G deployments by Vodafone Idea, Marwah said that discussions with the No. 3 carrier were ongoing and he expects the telco to get funding and hence invest in the network deployment. He added that Nokia is ready to set up the network and will begin once the orders are finalized.
Vodafone Idea chief executive Akshaya Moondra said the telco was in advanced discussions with telecom equipment makers for its 5G rollout strategy and will expedite the rollout once it secures funding to have a presence in the main markets and to compete with its larger rivals that have been offering 5G services since October 2022.
Marwah further said that 5G deployments for consumers are expected to be faster than anywhere in the world, with telcos ramping up deployments over the past year, even as consumption of 5G had risen exponentially.
The MBIT report said that the average data consumption per user had risen sharply since 2018, reaching 19.5GB per user per month in 2022. At an aggregate level, the total mobile data consumed in India is expected to more than double by 2024. Over 70 million 5G devices are estimated to have been shipped to India in 2022, indicating strong traction for 5G in the market, the report said.
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