In an interview with Bloomberg, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri discussed 5G, including his belief the market will reach maturity in 2021.
Suri was first asked when he expected 5G to make a meaningful impact on Nokia’s numbers.
“It will start to happen in the next couple of years,” Suri said. “It’s already starting to happen, where we’ve been rolling out 5G in the U.S., in South Korea; Japan is next, many Nordic countries. A little bit in China has begun, and then Middle East and so on.
“So I think market maturity, at the scale of many countries running at the same time—including Europe—will likely be in ‘21, although 2020 is also a big deal.”
When he was asked about the challenges he saw in growing the 5G market, Suri was equally bullish, pointing to the tremendous opportunity for consumers and businesses alike.
“There are plenty of opportunities because, one, we think 5G is about a number of things. It’s about low latency, it’s about a thousand times more capacity, super fast speed. But it’s not only for consumers. It’s also for industries, so a number of verticals will benefit from rolling out 5G. And not just 5G—actually you can do a number of things with 4G.”
Chinese vendors, such as Huawei, have been in the news over security concerns, with some countries and experts believing they provide a way for Beijing to spy on governments and corporations. Suri said that policy makers will need to make the big decisions about what vendors to include or exclude, and that Nokia is simply focused on providing the best technology.
“On our part, we just want to make sure we have the most competitive technology. And we have an end-to-end portfolio, like you said, because 5G isn’t just about radio. 5G is about a virtual circle of multiple elements of the network: backhaul, transport, software, applications, fixed wireless access, fixed lines and 5G radio as well—and of course the core network. So we want to be able to benefit from that end-to-end strategy and end-to-end portfolio that we have.”
In spite of the challenges with 5G roll outs, Suri says the technology is being adopted much faster than 4G.
“In fact, I would say our experience in early networks is that adoption of 5G is four times faster than the adoption we saw in 4G.”