Long before Apple’s iPhone came out in 2007, Nokia was the market leader in mobile phone sales. Even today, the Nokia 1100, released in 2003, is still the best-selling cell phone of all time (more than 250 million units sold). But Nokia offers much more than consumer electronics. The Finnish company is a telecoms company at heart, and since the sale of its cellphone division to Microsoft in 2014, it has consistently focused on telecoms infrastructure projects and Internet of Things (IoT) expansion.
Now the company is turning its attention to the next stage of 6G deployment in Europe, Hexa-X-II. Having led the Hexa-X initiative, which focuses on developing a unified vision for 6G and identifying different use cases, Nokia will lead a consortium of 44 organizations in phase two of the plan to create a robust overview and standardized platform to investigate.
So, could this position as a technology leader in the EU’s 6G infrastructure strategy give Nokia a head start and result in it becoming one of the key enablers of cloud technologies? We think so.
What does Hexa-X-II mean for the cloud?
Of course, one of the core goals of 6G as the next generation of wireless technology after 5G is to provide greater capacity and lower latency. These two advantages are crucial for the development and adoption of cloud technologies. Users in the office or remotely will continue to put more pressure on existing telecommunications systems.
Additionally, 6G promises to be more reliable and safer, a crucial component considering some users will eventually use the technology to control self-driving electric vehicles. In fact, security and data transparency are one of the most important factors in developing reliable telecommunications for cloud technologies. To this end, the 6G infrastructure will include artificial intelligence (AI)-based security detection and machine learning to detect and eliminate potential threats.
Since the telecommunications infrastructure is inextricably linked to the cloud, both technologies follow a similar path. And at the forefront of Europe’s 6G revolution is Nokia. While Nokia’s role is to lead the process, this position brings with it a responsibility and insight that will not go unnoticed by the world’s largest cloud companies.
In shaping the 6G infrastructure plan for Europe, one of the largest potential consumer markets for the technology, Nokia is also laying the groundwork as a private infrastructure partner and leading provider of technologies that will support cloud evolution.
5G: The elephant in the room
However, we can’t have a conversation about 6G without mentioning its predecessor, 5G. Global 5G rollout has been slow, to say the least. The technology was introduced in 2019, but the pace of infrastructure development has stalled on many occasions.
By 2022, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile had all rolled out 5G services to US customers. However, there are still American wireless carriers that have yet to do this, and full coverage has yet to be achieved. Europe still lacks coverage in many areas, and companies like Deutsche Telekom and Nokia seem to be focusing on private 5G infrastructure projects.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s not time to focus on 6G. While some 5G projects have taken a long time to get off the ground, the technology has accelerated in other areas such as cloud, automation and immersive platforms. The telecommunications industry has some catching up to do. And if that means moving forward with 6G initiatives and abandoning proposed 5G projects, then so be it.
Telcos must meet the needs of organizations that rely on their wireless technologies. To date, Nokia has positioned itself as a leader in this area.