By Steve Costello

Nokia CEO urges operators to move out of comfort zone

Nokia boss Rajeev Suri encouraged operators to be bold to unlock the value of 5G, arguing the industry is at a crossroads with a choice between comfort and the future.

“Do we want to stay in our comfort zone, with the same business models that have served us well until now, or do we want to look to the future and embrace new ways of working? Yes, there are challenges, but also immense new opportunity for revenue growth,” he said.

“To unlock the value of 5G, you will need to build a strong enterprise offering, for energy, for health, for manufacturing. And if you still doubt the business case, consider this: with 5G, operators will have something webscale and OTT players do not: a widespread, hyperlocal presence with tonnes of data gleaned from one million linked devices per square kilometre. In a data-driven world, that’s a goldmine.”

Suri was one of several executives to state that 5G will be a “general purpose technology”, which can affect an entire economy. Other examples include electricity, the steam engine and the internet.

“5G is not about doing the same things faster, it’s about doing entirely new things, creating new value, whoever you are and wherever you live. That is a fantastic opportunity. But it’s also a huge responsibility, putting that capability into people’s hands is on us,” he said.

The CEO also noted 5G will allow consumers and businesses to make the most of their time.

“Whoever you are, one thing is true. We all want to make every single second count, to squeeze the juice out of each moment, to do more quicker. And to do that, the older solutions have failed us. We need faster, we need reliable, we need responsive, we need 5G. Which is good, because it’s here.”