Gartner declared Nokia as the Leader of the Magic Quadrant for LTE network infrastructure. Nokia scored the most points in ‘Ability to Execute’, and was third in the category ‘Completeness of Vision’. Altogether, Nokia is the best ranked company in the LTE network infrastructure business, followed by Swedish Ericsson and Chinese Huawei.
Nokia is a leader in the LTE mobile network infrastructure market. It had transformed itself into a lean wireless network specialist but completed its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent in January 2016. Nokia’s presence in deployed LTE networks has enabled it to establish a business for its LTE-A solution and also contribute to testing advanced products, such as its AirScale, which is capable of supporting 5G. On the other hand, Nokia must continue to demonstrate that it can maintain its financial discipline and strong execution as it rationalizes and integrates the assets and operations of Alcatel-Lucent.
Nokia has a comprehensive, end-to-end LTE solution that includes radio, EPC, SON, voice core network, transport, network management, security products, public safety and professional services.
As a combined entity, the new Nokia now comes first among the leading vendors in terms of the number of LTE contracts signed.
Nokia has strong traction in countries including Brazil, Russia, India, China, Japan and South Korea for wireless network infrastructure, and it benefits from having good 3G and 4G presence and skills. The new Nokia now also benefits from a strong North American presence brought by Alcatel-Lucent’s footprint.
Nokia is undertaking a complex integration with Alcatel-Lucent that includes eliminating portfolio overlap and reducing overlapping personnel. Although the current management team’s track record in making such changes has been good, there is potential for disruption due to these changes, and therefore, they must be monitored.
Feedback from CSPs shows that Nokia’s product portfolio and technology roadmap were slightly less aggressive compared with other Leaders.
CSP clients of the previous Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia need to care about existing products’ continuity, including hardware maintenance and software updates and migration plans.
Gartner expects the LTE infrastrucutre market to grow from $20.9 billion in 2016 to $36 billion in 2020. Nokia hopes to take a large share of those business and further improve its financials once the wide-range 5G adoptions starts.