Nokia is ready to tap the 5G private networks opportunity with Indian enterprises even as Indian telecom operators continue to oppose the recent recommendation by the regulator to reserve spectrum for captive use by industries.
Nokia said that it plans to directly work with Indian industries and enterprises to jointly deploy private networks and provide them with more solutions, terming it a “big opportunity” in the country.
Nokia, however, will also continue to enable its Indian telecom operator partners to provide private network-related services to enterprises, Ricky Corker, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Nokia, was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.
Corker said that globally, models are emerging where both telcos and enterprises are securing 5G spectrum to deploy private networks.
“So it’s really up to the regulators to decide how they want to allocate spectrum…we see both models working quite well,” he said.
Earlier this month, French IT company Capgemini joined the ongoing debate around reserving 5G spectrum for captive usage by enterprises by saying that such a move will give companies “better control” over their plans and operations and reduce their dependence on telecom operators.
Indian operators like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have opposed the TRAI recommendations allowing private captive networks for enterprises, claiming this will dramatically alter the industry dynamics and hurt the financial health of the industry rather than improving it.
Enterprise services constitute 30-40% of the telecom industry’s overall revenues. Telcos claim that letting enterprises build their own private networks disincentivizes the telecoms industry to invest in networks and continue paying high levies and taxes.
Corker said that it’s not an either/or proposition, as Nokia can help telcos increase their revenues by enabling enterprise offerings using 5G network slicing.
“It’s a natural extension for them to expand that into private networking opportunities,” he said. “The fact that many other companies are also looking at this space indicates that the opportunity is large.”
Nokia is working on creating a complete ecosystem to tap the enterprise opportunity with the help of system integrators, device makers and startups. Corker said that startups can build their applications using private networks for enterprises.
Nokia is also exploring potential alliances with system integrators with “vertical expertise” to cater to manufacturing and mining verticals.