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Cormac Whelan

CEO, UK and Ireland, Nokia

5G: not just the next ‘G’

As an industry, we are in a constant state of reinvention. Now, more than ever, future innovation is being driven by a younger generation of users.

Focus is on the smartphone as their platform of choice for payments, IoT (Internet of things) device control and for streaming video delivery. These services will be underpinned by 5G.

What isn’t always clear, is that 5G is not just the next ‘G’, but instead a completely different way of approaching network design.

5G isn’t simply a wireless technology but is a heterogeneous system that uses a range of technologies in its set-up.

Part of this is the need for high speed connections from the wireless access points. One could actually say that 5G is a ‘fibre based technology’, because, without the high capacity backhaul that fibre provides, many of the services that 5G promises will fail.

5G helping keep businesses running during lockdown

We now have an industry more influenced than ever by factors that we didn’t consider in the past. COVID-19, for example, has disrupted business in many countries.

To safeguard business continuity, many organisations are rolling out 5G-enabled software platforms, including those that support workplace collaboration systems.

Future innovation is being driven by a younger generation of users.

In fact, the mass transitioning at short notice to remote working has focused attention on the value of the 5G network in facilitating homeworking for employees.

Similarly, artificial intelligence (AI), data science and IoT are being used to track cases of the virus, deliver medical supplies and to even develop new drugs to beat it.

These systems will all rely on the increased speed and flexibility of a 5G network.

‘Explosive data growth’ will need fully integrated, end-to-end networks

To deliver 5G and anticipated high traffic volumes, the message is clear: end-to-end network, that includes integrated radio access, fibre and a high capacity network core, is the best way to support explosive data growth.

Fibre provides the secure infrastructure to allow the development of 5G solutions across a range of networks and industries. It does this quickly and reliably and in a way that will meet our evolving needs.

What’s more, fully integrated end-to-end networks are essential to building a safe and futureproof system that will guarantee better connectivity.

This will allow the ongoing development of new technologies such as AI, robotics and machine learning.

Complete, seamless connectivity is so important to our customers who are trusting us with the rollout of their 5G and fibre networks in the UK, and are part of over 20 Nokia live 5G references and over 70 commercial 5G deals in key markets we have globally.

Coming back to our state of constant reinvention, as an industry, the innovation we come up with is amazing.

From how we drive forward 5G, to how we develop machines that learn, to the Bell Labs researchers we have in Nokia who are continually pushing the limits of physics, we are always inventing.

Now, more than ever, we need to work together to create the right 5G experiences that will provide dependable value today and into the future.

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