Verizon and Nokia go international with a 5G private network pitch

  • Verizon and Nokia team up to offer a ‘private 5G platform’ to enterprises
  • Offer focused on Europe and Asia-Pacific regions
  • Operator keen to convince that 5G can deliver unique services
  • Details and specifics in short order

Verizon and Nokia have joined forces to offer private 5G network solutions to enterprise users across Europe and Asia-Pacific, continuing the increasing focus of telecoms industry giants on the enhanced business prospects that 5G might tease from the business user community.

Only yesterday Nokia announced it was partnering with AT&T in the US to offer private 5G network solutions to businesses in the US, with Ericsson having already announced a similar tie-up with AT&T.

Now Nokia, arguably the leading major telecoms vendor in the private wireless networks market, is looking to solidify its position as a prime partner for operators seeking to make sure they get a slice (geddit?) of the enterprise 5G services sector across multiple markets. And a tie-up with Verizon Business is not a bad place to start: The US operator has an extensive international business, serving the needs of many enterprises in multiple countries (the operator seems unsure of the exact numbers…) and managing more than 500,000 security, network and hosting devices.

The partnership will bring together Nokia’s tech, primarily its Digital Automation Cloud, and various consultancy and support services from Verizon Business. 

Engagement with the prospective enterprise customers “starts with a professional services engagement and then we figure out how a 5G solution will play a role in the enterprise’s own business and ecosystem. We can work on a country-by-country basis to make sure that private spectrum is applied for correctly, design a service and manage that implementation and offer a fully managed solution to that customer,” while also providing a customer portal for the enterprise to maintain control over its services, stated Peter Konings, Verizon’s Director of Products, EMEA, during an online media briefing. 

But there is scant other detail from the partners just now. When asked about the specific markets they would be targeting, there was a reference to 12 countries in Europe that have some degree of private wireless licensing activity underway (either completed or being considered) but no markets were identified. Details for Asia-Pacific weren’t even touched upon. Likewise, a question about whether Verizon would need any local mobile operator partners to meet enterprise customer needs in various markets was also sidestepped. 

And as expected, the partners are keen to talk up 5G’s potential to deliver specific capabilities in the private network sector in a way that 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi 6 cannot. 

“There are new capabilities in 5G that 4G does not have – top speed is just one of them – but I'm going to talk about things like low latency… with edge, we can get the single digit latency on the last leg, which is critical,” stated Sampath Sowmyanarayan, President of Global Enterprise at Verizon Business. “Another is device density, and another is [improved] power consumption… you're going to need 5G for a very specific set of use cases,” he added.

On Wi-Fi 6 he said that there will be co-existence in certain cases.  “This is not religion, there are some use cases where Wi-Fi 6 works very well, for example if you're streaming video. But when you're looking at mission critical applications… you need access to dedicated spectrum, a high quality of service [and] very very high reliability, and that's where 5G works very well.  We can definitely see a situation where you have the technologies coexist, but for very different use cases,” he added.

Bringing Verizon and Nokia together is a strong combination for sure, but enterprises will likely need a lot more of substance (and, of course, some compelling price points) if they’re to put their private wireless network faith in this partnership.

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV 

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.