Nokia software wants to dial into India’s 5G push


BENGALURU: Nokia Software is eyeing trials for India’s 5G telecom network, and has made a case for participating in the pilot runs citing its expertise in deploying 5G networks commercially in the United States, South Korea and Japan, “India is both a very important talent base and large, local market for us,” said Bhaskar Gorti, President of Nokia Software, adding that the business was a hidden jewel of the telecom infrastructure and networking major. “So (in) 5G, we are not just in pilots or trials, we are in commercial deployment.”

Nokia hired Gorti — who built Oracle’s telecom software business — in 2015 to create a software entity that would give it an edge. The company has built significant software capability in India, Gorti said, and the country acts as an innovation lab for global customers to demonstrate its technology. “5G is actually an end-to-end scenario. You not only have to upgrade the radio, you have to upgrade the backhaul, you have to upgrade the edge and core networking and access networking, then you have to upgrade that fibre in the last mile,” Gorti said. “We have a unique advantage that we have homegrown native technologies in every part of that value chain.”

5G, unlike technologies before it,

isn’t reliant only on hardware. In fact, experts believe that improvements in networking speeds and capabilities will come from software embedded within the hardware. The evolving technology will shift the power of development to countries such as India which have excelled in building a base of networking software specialists.

Nokia is also looking to build cloud-based solutions that leverage the advantages of 5G such as low-latency and high throughput, broadening its services base beyond being a mere network solutions provider. A large chunk of this work is being handled by Nokia’s India unit. “We are looking to hire pure software people with knowledge of cloud technologies,” Gorti said.

“We are more closely tied to the mother ship for obvious reasons, because we can do R&D and have better engineering collaboration. But, we also have large labs where we bring these third-party equipment and certify them,” Gorti said.

The company, which has over 2,600 engineers in India or nearly half its global workforce, earned revenue of $3.3 billion in 2018.


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