Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri remains upbeat about his company’s position in 5G despite its ongoing financial woes.
Speaking during Nokia’s annual general meeting, Suri claims the Finnish vendor is benefiting from offering “wider portfolio elements that our competitors cannot match.”
Nokia is often hailed for its end-to-end solutions, but competitors like Ericsson are often seen to be stronger in radio access networks (RAN).
With its newish Ericsson Radio System, a RAN platform that already accounts for 84% of all its RAN sales, Ericsson has been able to land some major deals. In Germany, notably, Ericsson dislodged Nokia as a RAN supplier to Deutsche Telekom.
“5G is not the future anymore. It is here, and Nokia is leading it,” Suri said. “We are winning deals and rolling out some of the world’s first 5G networks.”
The exec touted the vendor’s 37 5G commercial contracts, “20 with named customers including T-Mobile, AT&T, STC, and Telia. 5G is now accelerating and the power of Nokia’s end-to-end portfolio is being recognised.”
However, Nokia reported dismal results for Q1 2019. The company blamed a failure to supply 5G network equipment on time. Nokia should have been able to capitalise on the global uncertainties around the use of Huawei equipment, but it’s only managed to secure one 5G contract since its Q1 results.
Nokia’s financials have looked shaky for some time:
In contrast, Ericsson began reporting operating profit in Q2 2018 for the first time in seven quarters. Last week, Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm spoke at the Viva Technology conference and boasted: “It’s impossible to be behind in 5G when there is no-one in front of us.”
However, for the most part, Ekholm opted to use his speech to chastise operators over the slow pace of 5G rollouts in Europe compared to Asia and the United States.
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