Nokia on presenting new technology for African consumers at the AfricaCom 2017 event in South Africa: Interview with Jan Liebenberg - End to End Solutions Head for Southern Africa, Nokia.
Nokia launched several iconic phones, including Nokia 6 this July, starting in the United States. Recently, the company participated in the AfricaCom exhibition that took place in Cape Town, South Africa on November 7-9, 2017. Nokia’s stand was on stand C95, where visitors interacted with experts from the company. Bizrika wanted to know more about the new technological offerings that the brand is bringing to the African context, including 5G network capabilities.
What new technology will Nokia be showcasing at AfricaCom exhibition this year?
This year, Nokia is showcasing the promise of 5G at AfricaCom. We are bringing a live 5G demonstration using commercial hardware and showcasing use cases such as real time 3D UHD virtual reality streaming and ultra low latency communication between robots via the pre-standard 5G radio interface. Nokia has an ambitious plan to shape the future by expanding the human possibilities of technology in Africa and connecting the unconnected, pushing the limits of performance to bring services to people instantly and effortlessly. Nokia is tailoring its presence at AfricaCom 2017 to the African market to show how the connected world can enable new experiences in people’s lives each day.
Nokia has a 5G network plan. Could you elaborate on when it is coming to Africa?
There are several key industries Nokia sees as being first in line to benefit from the force of 5G. While these will not all come through at the same pace, or make use of the same characteristic of a 5G network, they will result in fundamental transformation of the industries, creating benefit on both the consumer and business sides.
The following section details a number of these use cases.
- With the first commercial 5G networks expected to be brought to life around 2019-2020, communications service providers (CSPs) have a relatively short timescale of just two to three years to be ready. By starting now to prepare their networks, CSPs will give themselves the best chance of winning the competitive advantage of being early to market.
The key areas that will require attention include:
Network architecture – the core network will become more distributed to provide low latency and the radio network will become more centralized for enhanced scalability
Transport network – capacity will need to be upgraded to support faster data rates and higher capacities
Spectrum – new bands will need to be used for 5G, both below 6 GHz and at millimeter waves
Site solutions – it is likely that the practical deployment of 5G will use active antennas with beam forming. New types of cell sites and new deployment models will also be needed, including small cells.
All these technologies and new services will be necessary to underpin a successful 5G launch and will take time to plan and implement, underscoring the need for 5G preparations to begin straight away. Success will be shaped by how an operator transforms its business, choosing from the new business models with selected use cases.
The journey must begin not with the technology of 5G, but with the use cases. By deciding right now which 5G use cases to target, operators can start to invest in the technologies they need to lay down the foundation for the right deployment of 5G to fit their strategy.
Which are the technologies which are trending the most in this market? Which are the technologies that are being adopted rapidly?
With the fast adoption of mobile broadband, we continue to see a very strong rise in the so-called Over-the-Top or OTT services such as WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. continuing to be widely adopted and changing the way operators are monetizing their networks. So, we are seeing the shift from pure voice and SMS revenue generation to recognizing the importance of mobile data.
The gradual decline of voice and SMS must be compensated for by the operators’ ability to monetize mobile broadband and they are working and partnering with these players to monetize what the users want to do, which includes the OTT solutions that are freely available in the market. We see more and more operators working in partnership or having specific data bundles or packages which favor and allow the users to migrate, while having a smart monetization strategy, as well.
Preparing the network and clarifying the business model for IoT, is also a key aspect for 2018, as we see NB-IoT deployment by CSPs on the rise.
How can consumers and stakeholders get in touch with Nokia experts on the stand during the AfricaCom event in Cape Town?
Nokia experts and team members from the various domains are present on Nokia’s booth C95 and we very much look forward to welcoming our guests. Alternatively, you can always contact us via our website or online published regional and local offices contacts.
Thank you so much for talking to Bizrika.
About ￼Jan Liebenberg
Jan has worked in the telecommunications industry for the past 20 years.
Since the merger of Nokia Networks and Siemens Communications in 2007, Jan was involved in solution design activities, a continuation of the Solutions Architect role as Customer Solution Manager. Mobile solutions and FMC became the key focus activity areas. In 2013 he was appointed to head the Customer Solutions Team for Africa in addition to still functioning in certain areas as Customer Solution Manager while leading the team of Customer Solution Managers. In 2015 he undertook the additional role of Country Director for Nokia South Africa, to further develop his general management and business skills.
Jan’s current portfolio encompasses the role of End-to-End Solutions Head for South Africa. In his capacity as a CTO, he engages with potential and existing customers to discuss operator and vender strategies to build or evolve the operators’ networks.