Nokia is stepping up its efforts in 5G competition with the launch of 5G First, its debut 5G product.
The 5G First, which will be available in the second half of 2017, helps mobile carriers prepare for 5G-ready architectures and gives them “first to market advantage”, Nokia said, adding that the 5G product is underpinned by technical specifications outlined by the Verizon 5G Technology Forum ecosystem.
Announcing the launch at a news conference ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday, Nokia president and CEO Rajeev Suri said “the 5G launch is not hype but soon to become reality.”
He said Nokia is working with Verizon and Intel to supply equipment for pre-commercial 5G services to homes in select Verizon markets such as Dallas. The companies will also deploy 5G-enabled “next-generation video and entertainment services”, which are set to launch in Dallas later this year and expand to other US markets by the end of 2017.
In addition, Suri predicted that investments in 4G, particularly advanced 4G technology, will pick back up this year in key markets, like Japan.
“Even with 5G coming, the need for more capacity grows everyday with no sign of slowing,” the executive said.
Suri also revealed that Nokia has won a three-year contract from Telefonica to boost the performance of its 4G networks in London as data demand grows. The deal includes Nokia 4.5G Pro technology, he added.
Earlier this month, Nokia reported its profits for the fourth quarter of 2016 fell less than expected, helped by cost cuts and the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.
The Finnish telecoms equipment vendor is also looking to broaden its footprint in faster-growing areas including software and the utilities and transport markets with IoT and cloud, in a bid to offset the weakening revenues from the telecoms sector.
For example, Nokia has recently launched WING, its IoT network grid, which is aimed at providing a full-service model offering IoT connectivity across different technologies to manage a client's IoT connectivity needs and assets.