Even though most of us are eagerly waiting for HMD’s MWC 2018 press conference as the main event of the day, Finnish Nokia will also hold a “Press and analyst” event today starting at 13h CET (3 hours before HMD event). The event will be an hour long and topics about Nokia’s business like Networking and Technologies will be on the table. We expect to see updates on Nokia’s progress towards 5G, how the company performed in 2017 and plans for the future. To me personally, Nokia Health is of utmost interest in this event, and it will be interesting to see if Nokia gives an update about the strategic review the company is conducting inside the department.
You can register for the event HERE. We will be updating this article with info from the event once it starts. 🙂
The event is done, down below follows the report:
The press conference kicked off with Berry French, Nokia’s CMO that invited the CEO and President Rajeev Suri on stage. Suri announced that on this conference Nokia will focus on sending three messages: 5G develops faster than anyone expected, no company can deliver it better than Nokia and that Nokia has momentum in other areas. Suri emphasised that in every country operators are looking and doing field tests of 5G. US, China, Japan, Korea and Nordics countries of Europe are moving fast towards 5G, while Suri feels that an overall slow rollout of 5G will happen in the EU.
Suri also talked about Nokia WiFi, the beautiful looking WiFi routers. Suri repeated the features that were presented in a video we covered here. He repeated how beautiful the devices look, compared to the black boxes competitors offer that end up in some closets. Suri announced that Nokia acquired Unium, a private company specialized in “solving complex wireless networking problems for use in mission-critical and residential Wi-Fi applications.” Union acquisition is expected to be closed in this quarter. You can find the details about how Unium will fit into Nokia’s business in the official press releases here and here.
The momentum Suri sees alongside 5G is Nokia’s business with web companies. Nokia gained 100+ webscale and enterprise companies like Apple or government agencies, that previously weren’t a focus of Nokia’s business. More and more traffic will go from operators’ networks to servers of different internet companies and demand for Nokia’s hardware will grow.
Suri also made predictions about future, mentioning that in 2018 we could see new phone form factor. He described a project Bell Labs does using an armband that gives medical info about the user, something about which we wrote here. Another prediction is that VR will make a slow comeback starting 2018, which is in contrast with Nokia’s decision to discontinue Nokia OZO. Suri also said that 2018 marks a year disruption happens in healthcare, again confusing with Nokia’s strategic review of the Digital Health department.
From questions and answers, interesting is the answer about slower 5G rollout in Europe. He blames lower revenue per user compared to US and Japan, a lot of operators, restrictions and badly structured tariffs, coupled with low investments. On the question about Digital Health strategic review, Suri refused to share more info until the review is done. He said that Nokia can continue the B2B approach to healthcare, meaning providing services to institution and moving away from regular customers.