Nokia sees high demand for 5G gear in India in 2024-25: Report

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In a recent conference call, Nokia President and CEO Pekka Lundmark said that the vendor’s business continued to see benefit from 5G deployments in India

Finnish vendor Nokia is seeing a substantial demand for 5G equipment in India during the next two years, local newspaper The Times of India reported, citing Nokia India head of mobile networks business Tarun Chhabra.

“India’s requirement is still going to be substantial in the 2024-2025 period, then our factories will be fully loaded with India plus some exports,” Chhabra said.

In a recent conference call, Nokia President and CEO Pekka Lundmark said the vendor’s business continued to see benefit from 5G deployments in India, adding that sales volume moderated significantly in the third quarter on a sequential basis as the pace of 5G deployment has started to normalize.

Chhabra said that Nokia will increase shipment of 5G gear from India if demand grows, but noted he expects the growth momentum in India to continue.

“Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is one big thing that can actually require a lot of data thrusting and then operators will have to actually deploy more networks. I would say this is phase one. Once there is a new use case coming up, more subscribers being added, then there’s going to be more demand for network capacity, which is also going to have an impact on the second phase of 5G deployment,” Chhabra said.

Chhabra also said that 5G use cases in ports, manufacturing, defense and railways, have the potential to provide monetization opportunities for local telecom operators.

Talking about the development of future 6G systems, Chhabra said that Nokia has set up a 6G sensing lab in Bengaluru where the company also has a research and development center with around 8,000 engineers.

“We now have more people who are going to work on 6G standardization and 6G features. In this lab, this number will only go up,” Chhabra said.

Indian carrier Reliance Jio Infocomm recently confirmed it has covered the entire country with its 5G network ahead of the promised time frame of December 2023.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has been rapidly expanding its 5G network using Standalone (SA) architecture since October 2022. The telco has already deployed its 5G service in 7,764 cities across 36 states in India, according to the carrier’s website.

Reliance Jio had previously secured a mix of wireless spectrum for 5G across the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. Jio is the only Indian operator with the 700 MHz low-band spectrum.

Rival operator Bharti Airtel is also providing 5G in thousands of towns and cities across India, while Vodafone Idea is still working to launch the technology. Meanwhile, state-run telco BSNL plans to launch 5G services in June 2024, according to recent press reports.

According to the India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT), over 338,000 base stations for 5G have been deployed across the country.

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