Nokia signs MoUs with Airtel and BSNL to prepare India for 5G

The three companies will work together to transform existing networks and find uses cases relevant for the Indian market.

Nokia is making big strides in the smartphone market and working on building networks and communications world over, especially in the 5G technology space. According to an ET report the Finnish company has signed memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with state-run BSNL and telco giant Bharti Airtel to upgrade existing networks to 5G. The MoUs reflect the companies’ plans to gear up for 5G, whose commercial roll out is expected to happen around 2019-2020 worldwide.

“Thoughts behind these MoUs would be to introduce 5G here, and what are the steps required for the same, besides identifying applications to define the target segment, which will lead to a complete 5G strategy for telcos,” said Sanjay Malik, Head of India Market, Nokia, in the ET report. He added that the field and content and application trials would start around 2018 as BSNL is working on setting up the foundation for the 5G networks.

“After 4G, the future is 5G and IoT, which is useful in the concept such as smart cities,” BSNL Chairman Anupam Shrivastava was quoted as saying in an earlier PTI report. “The MoU will help BSNL to draw a framework for transition from the current network to futuristic 5G network.”

In line with these thoughts, Nokia is also creating an experience centre in Bangalore to understand stakeholder requirements for 5G, hoping to give the new technology a push in India. Through these partnerships Nokia hopes to better understand what’s relevant for the Indian market, like agricultural IoT, rural connectivity, etc. 

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