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BT and Nokia have announced the successful combination of four carrier components (4CC) in a 5G standalone network (SA), marking a major step towards greater 5G connectivity on its EE network and a first for Europe.
In a blog post, the telecommunications giant celebrated the successful test and the potential it carries for future networking. Carrier aggregation, in which multiple carrier bands are merged to form a stable connection, can provide dramatically improved bandwidth and speeds not capable on any of the carriers on their own.
The majority of 5G networks across the UK use existing 4G infrastructure, making them ‘non-standalone’. Successful implementation of BT’s new 5G SA would grant businesses and consumers widespread network speed improvement and open a new door for creative use of authorised bandwidths.
In another European first, the trial was successfully performed not only in lab conditions but also from a radio mast at BT’s Adastral park in Suffolk. Proof of a working 5G standalone network utilising 4CC is a major step forward for UK 5G, particularly as the team was able to run the 5G network on EE’s existing radio spectrum.
Pre-5G network standards such as LTE-A use carrier aggregation to combine up to five networks together to reach a total speed equivalent to ‘true 4G’. In the case of the announced tests, low and mid-band radio channels in the frequencies 2.1, 2.6, 3.4 and 3.6 GHz were combined using Nokia’s 5G radio access network and a MediaTek M80 5G modem.
“Our trial with Nokia is another demonstration of building the most advanced network for our customers,” stated Greg McCall, managing director of service platforms at BT.
“5G Standalone, coupled with edge compute, will unlock new opportunities for customers looking to develop new services. Furthermore, this technology showcases what’s possible for devices in the future in terms of supporting carrier aggregation, which is an important part of customer experience.”
The rollout of the UK 5G network has seen several setbacks, most notably the government’s 2020 order for BT to remove all Huawei equipment from its core network by January 2023. BT has since stated that it may not be able to meet this target and has asked for an extension citing the impact of covid on the removal process.
There is also growing industry interest in the use of millimetre wave (mmWave), generally defined as the bands between 24-100GHz. BT EE has indicated that they are seeking whole market approval for mmWave, which offers high speeds and little interference, and is currently seeing success utilising the lower end of this spectrum for fixed wireless access such as in stadiums and conference centres.
However, Ofcom has yet to auction off the mmWave spectrum, and BT will face stiff competition from satellite operators when the time comes, with many questions remaining around the best use cases for the 40GHz band. Even as 5G is yet to be properly capitalised upon, the government is working towards 6G through programs such as its recently announced collaborative research scheme with South Korea.
Despite setbacks, BT has several plans in place to dramatically expand its 5G network as well as to boost network technology development. In May, it announced a partnership with Swedish multinational Ericsson to develop private 5G networks for commercial clients.
BT also signed a memorandum of understanding last year with UK satellite communications company OneWeb, in the interest of improving broadband reach for rural customers such as small to medium businesses (SMBs). OneWeb seeks to provide global broadband internet services by the end of 2023 through the use of its low earth orbit satellite constellation, and last month entered into merger talks with French satellite operator Eutelsat.
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In 2019, the Trump administration brokered a deal allowing T-Mobile to buy Sprint as long as it helped Dish Network stand up a new 5G network to keep the number of national wireless carriers at four and preserve competition in the mobile market. You can say a lot about that deal, but it happened. And now, in 2022, Dish’s network — which is called Project Genesis, that’s a real name — is slowly getting off the ground. And it’s built on a new kind of wireless technology called Open Radio Access Network, or ORAN. Dish’s network is only the third ORAN network in the entire world, and if ORAN works, it will radically change how the entire wireless industry operates.
I have wanted to know more about ORAN for a long time. So today, I’m talking to Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile. Rakuten Mobile is a new wireless carrier in Japan. It just launched in 2020. It’s also the world’s first ORAN network, and Tareq basically pushed this whole concept into existence.
Tareq’s big idea, an Open Radio Access Network, is to break apart the hardware and software and make it so that many more vendors can build radio access hardware that Rakuten Mobile can run its own software on. Think about it like a Mac versus a PC: a Mac is Apple hardware running Apple’s software, while a PC can come from anyone and run Windows just fine or run another operating system if you want.
That’s the promise of ORAN: that it will increase competition and lower costs for cellular base station hardware, allow for more software innovation, and generally make networks faster and more reliable because operators like Rakuten Mobile will be in tighter control of the software that runs the networks and move all that software from the hardware itself to cloud services like Amazon AWS.
Since Rakuten Mobile is making all this software that can run on open hardware, they can sell it to other people. So Tareq is also the CEO of Rakuten Symphony, which — you guessed it — is helping Dish run its network here along with another network called 1&1 in Germany.
I really wanted to know if ORAN is going to work, and how Tareq managed to make it happen in such a traditional industry. So we got into it — like, really into it.
Okay, Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Mobile. Here we go.
Tareq Amin is the CEO of Rakuten Mobile and the CEO of Rakuten Symphony. Welcome to Decoder.
Thank you, Nilay. Pleasure being with you.
I am excited to talk to you. Rakuten Mobile is one of the leaders in this next generation of wireless networks being built and I am very curious about it. It is in Japan, but we have a largely US-based audience, so can you explain what Rakuten is? What kind of company is it, and what is its presence like in Japan?
The Rakuten Group as a whole is not a telecom company, but mostly an internet services company. It started as one of the earliest e-commerce technology companies in Japan. Today, it is one of the largest in e-commerce, fintech, banking, travel, et cetera. These significant internet services were primarily built around a massive ecosystem in Japan, and the only missing piece for Rakuten as a group was the mobile connectivity business. That is why I came to Japan, to help build and launch a disruptive architecture for its mobile 4G/5G network.
Let me make a really bad comparison here. This company has been a huge internet services provider for a while. This is kind of like if Yahoo was massively successful and started a wireless network.
Correct. I mean, think of Amazon. What would happen if Amazon launched a mobile network in the US? This is the best analogy I could give, because Rakuten operates at that scale in Japan. This company with a disruptive mindset, disruptive skill set, disruptive culture, and disruptive organization endorsed my super crazy idea of how we should build this next-generation mobile infrastructure. I think that is where I attribute most of the success. The company’s DNA and culture is just remarkably different.
So it’s huge. How is it structured overall? How is Rakuten Mobile a part of that structure?
Of all the entities today, I think the founder and chairman of the company, Mickey [Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani], is probably one of the most innovative leaders I have ever had the opportunity to work with. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the interactions we have with him. He is down to earth and his leadership style is definitely hands-on; he doesn’t really operate at a high level.
The fundamental belief of Rakuten is around synergistic impact for its ecosystem. The company has 71 internet-facing services in Japan — we also operate globally, by the way — and you as a consumer have one membership ID that you benefit from. The points/membership/loyalty is the foundation of what this company works on. Regardless of which services you consume, they are all tied through this unique ID across all 71.
The companies and the organizations internally have subsidiaries and legal structures that would separate all of them, but synergistically, they are all connected through this membership/points/loyalty system. We think it is really critical to grow the synergistic impact of not just one service, but the collective services, to the end consumer.
Today, Rakuten Mobile is a subsidiary of the group, and Rakuten Symphony is more focused on our platform business. It focuses on the globalization of the technology and architecture we have done in Japan, by selling and promoting to global customers.
When you say Symphony, do you mean the wireless network technology or the technology of the whole company?
Symphony itself is much more than just wireless. Of course, it has Edge Cloud connectivity architecture, the wireless technology stack for 4G/5G, and life cycle management for automation operations. In August of last year we launched Rakuten Symphony as a formal entity to take all the technology we have now and promote it to a global customer base.
I think one of the reasons you and I are having this conversation is because Dish Network in the United States is a Symphony customer. They are launching a next-generation 5G network and I have been very curious about how that is going. It sounds like Symphony is a big piece of the puzzle there.
To give you a bit of background, maybe we should start with the mobile business in Japan, because it is the foundation this idea initially started from. So, I would tell you, I have had a super crazy life. I am really blessed that I had the opportunity to work with amazing leaders and across three continents so far. My previous experiences before coming to Japan, which involved building another large greenfield network in India called Reliance Jio, have taught me quite a bit.
To be very frank with you, it taught me the value of the US dollar. When you go into a country where the economy of units — how much you could charge a consumer — is one to two US dollars, the idea of supply chain procurement and cost has to change. You have to find a way to build cost-efficient networks.
The launch of Reliance Jio was very successful and became a really good Cinderella story for the industry. I am extremely thankful for what Jio has taught me personally, and I have always wondered what I would do differently if I had a second opportunity to build a greenfield.
To give everybody listening to this podcast some perspective, the mobile technology industry has been about nothing but hardware changes since the inception of the first 1G in 1981. You just take the old hardware and replace it with new hardware. Nothing has changed in the way we deploy networks when the Gs change, even now in 2022. It is still complex and expensive, and I don’t think the essence of AI and autonomy exist in the DNA of these networks. That is why when you look at the cost expenditures to build new technology like 5G, it is so cost-prohibitive.
It was by coincidence that I met the chairman and CEO of Rakuten group, Mickey Mikitani, and I loved everything that Rakuten is all about. Like most people, I didn’t necessarily know who Rakuten was at the time. I only knew of them because I love football (soccer) and they were a big sponsor of FC Barcelona.
When Mickey started explaining the company fabric to me, about its DNA and internet services, I thought about what a significant opportunity he would have if he adopted a different architecture in how these networks are deployed — one that moves away from proprietary hardware. What would happen if we remove the hardware completely and build the world’s first, and only, cloud-native software telco?
Let me be really honest with you, this was just in PPT at the time. I conceived the idea thinking about what I would do differently if I were granted another opportunity like Reliance Jio. One of the first key elements I wanted to change is adopting this unique cloud architecture, because nobody had really deployed an end-to-end horizontal cloud across any telco yet.
The second element — which you have probably heard of because the industry has been talking about it excitedly — is this thing called Open RAN, which is the idea of disaggregating hardware and software. The third element, my ultimate dream, is the enablement of a full autonomous network that is able to run itself, fix itself, and heal itself without human beings.
This is the journey of mobile, and I think this is what differentiates us so much. I can’t say I had a recipe that defined what success would look like, but I was obsessed. Obsessed with creating a world-class organization with a larger ecosystem, and getting everybody motivated about this concept that did not exist four years ago.
Now here we are, post commercial launch. The world is celebrating what we have done. They like and enjoy the ideas around this disaggregated network, and they love the concept of cloud-native architecture. What I love the most is that we opened up a healthy debate across the globe. We really encourage and support what Dish is doing in the United States by deploying Open RAN as an architecture. I think this is absolutely the right platform to build resilient, scalable, cost-effective mobile networks for the future.
That is the high-level story of how this journey started with a super crazy, ambitious idea that nobody thought would succeed. If you go back four years to some of the press releases that were published, I cannot tell you how many times I was told I’m crazy or that I’m going to fail. As I said, we became fanatic about this idea, and that is what drove us all to emotionally connect to the mission, the objective. I am very, very happy to see the results that the team has achieved.
I want to take that in stages. I definitely want to talk about Jio, because it is a really interesting foundational element of this whole story. I want to talk about what you have built with O-RAN, and how that works in the industry. I also want to talk about where it could go as a platform for the network providers. But I have to ask you the Decoder question first. You have described your ideas as super crazy like five times now. You are the CEO of a big wireless provider in Japan, and you are selling that stuff to other CEOs. I have to ask you the Decoder question. How do you make decisions?
I know this might sound a little controversial, but I have to tell you. In any project I have taken, even from my early days, we have always been taught that you have to have a Plan A and a Plan B. This has never worked for me. I have a concept I call, “No Plan B for me.”
I don’t go in thinking, “This project will fail, therefore I need to look at alternatives and options,” so I am absolutely not worried about making big, bold decisions. I live by a basic philosophy that it is okay to fail sometimes, but let’s fail fast so we can pick ourselves up and progress. I am not saying people shouldn’t have Option A and Option B. I just feel that, for me personally, Option B might give my mind the opportunity to entertain that there is an escape clause. That may not necessarily be a good thing when working on ambitious projects. I think you need to be committed to your beliefs and ideas.
I have made some tough calls during my career, but for whatever reason, I have never really been worried about the consequences of failure. Sometimes we learn more from the mistakes we make and from having difficult experiences, whether they are personal or professional. I think my decision-making capability is one that is very bold, trying to make the team believe in the objectives that we are trying to accomplish and not worrying about failure. Sometimes you just need to be focused on the idea and the mission. Yes, the results are important, but that is not the only thing I am married to.
This is how I have operated all my life, and so far, I am really happy with some of the thinking I have adopted. I am not saying people should not have options in their lives, but this idea of “no Plan B” has its merits in certain projects. How can you adapt your leadership style when approaching projects, rather than thinking, “What is the other option?”
I think with deploying millions upon millions of dollars of mobile broadband equipment, it often feels like you have got to be committed. Let’s talk about that, starting with Jio. If the listeners don’t know, Reliance Jio is now the biggest carrier in India. It is extremely popular, but it launched as a pretty disruptive challenger against other carriers of 4G like Airtel. You just gave it away for free for like the first six months, and it has been lower-cost ever since. This is not the new idea though, right? It is not the open hardware-software disaggregated network that you are talking about now. How did you make Jio so cheap at the beginning?
I will tell you a one-minute prelude. I was sitting very comfortably in Newport Beach when I got a call from my friend. He asked me if I would be interested in going to India and being part of a leadership team to build this ambitious, audacious idea for a massive network at scale, in a country that has north of 1.3 billion people. My first reaction was, “What do I know about India? I have colleagues, but I have never really been there.”
It seemed like an interesting opportunity, and he encouraged me to go meet the executive leadership team of Reliance Jio. I remember flying to Dallas to have a conversation with three leaders that I didn’t really know at the time. One of them in particular, I have to tell you, the more he talked, the more I just wanted to listen. I was amazed by his ambition for what he wanted to achieve in the country.
What was his name?
Mukesh Ambani. I have learned quite a bit from him. India was ranked 154th in the world in mobile broadband penetration before Reliance Jio. The idea was, “Can we assemble an organization that brings ubiquitous connectivity anywhere and everywhere you go across the country? Can 1.3 billion people benefit from this massive transformation that offers cutting-edge services?”
At the time, LTE was the service that Jio launched with. I was really amazed by this ambition and how big it was. I said, “This is an opportunity I just cannot pass up.” It was much bigger than the financial reward; it was an opportunity of learning and understanding. I truly enjoy meeting different cultures. The more I interact with people from different parts of the world, the more it fuels the energy inside me.
So I picked myself up and I moved to India. I landed in the old Mumbai airport, and when I powered on my device, I saw a symbol I hadn’t seen in the US for a decade — 2G. I knew the opportunity Jio had if we did this right. I mean, think about it. 2G. What is really the definition of broadband? 256 kilobits per second? That’s not internet services. The foundation of Jio started with this.
I will tell you the big things that I have learned. Most people think the way you achieve the best pricing is through a process called request for proposals and reverse auctions, to bring vendors and partners to compete against each other. Sometimes there is a better way to do this. You find larger companies where the CEOs have emotion and connection to the idea that you are building, and are willing to work with you as a true partner.
One of the key, fundamental pillars I learned from Jio is that not everything is about status quo. How you run provider selection, vendor selection, or requests for proposal, everything starts from the top leadership of partners you select. They need the ability to connect with the emotional journey — because it is an emotional journey after all — to do something at the scale of what Jio wanted to do. One of the biggest lessons I learned is the process of selecting suppliers who are uniquely different.
In terms of building a network at a relatively low cost, I will explain how this Open RAN idea came in. During my tenure at Jio, I really started thinking that in order to build a network at scale, regardless of how cheap your labor is, you need to fundamentally change your operating platforms for digitization. Jio would have north of 100,000 people a day working in the field, deploying sites. How do you manage them — give them tasks, check on the quality of installation they do, and audit the work before you turn up any of the bay stations, sites, or radio units?
I have driven this entire digitization and the digital workflows associated with it to connect everybody in India, whether it is Jio employees, contractors, or distributed organizations. Up to 400,000 people at any instant of time would come to the systems that my team has built. That changed everything. It changed the mentality of how we drive cost efficiency and how we run the operations.
This is where I would tell you that big building blocks started formulating in my mind around automation and its impact to operational efficiency if you approach it with a completely fundamental point of view from the current legacy systems you find in other telcos. Because of the constraint of financial pressure on what we call the average revenue per user, the RPU, which is the measurement of how much you charge a mobile customer, I wanted to find a different way to deploy the network.
When you build a network like Jio that has to support 1.3 billion, it’s not just about these big, massive radio sites you deploy. We need things called small cells, which are products that look like Wi-Fi access points, but you deploy lots of them to achieve what we call a heterogeneous design, a design that has big and small sites to meet capacity and coverage requirements.
I prepared an amazing presentation about small cells to the leadership team of Jio and I thought I kicked it out of the park. But then I was asked a question I have never heard in my life. Imagine! I am a veteran in this industry and have been doing this for a very long time. Someone said, “Tareq, I love your strategy. Can you tell me who the chipset provider is for the small cell product?” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” I have never been asked such a question by any operator that I have ever worked for outside of India.
I was told, “Look, Tareq, money doesn’t grow on trees in India. You need to know the cost. To know the cost, you must understand the component cost.” That was the first building block. I said, “Okay, next time I come to this meeting, I am not going to be uneducated anymore.”
I took on a small project which, at the time, did not seem audacious to me. I said, “Look, if I go to an electronics shop in the US, like a Best Buy, I could buy a Wi-Fi access point for $100. If I buy an enterprise access point from a large supplier, it costs $1,000.” I wanted to know what the difference is, so I hired five of the best university graduates one could ask for, and I asked them a trivial question. “Open both boxes, write the part numbers.” I had a really great friend at Qualcomm, and I remember this gentleman saying, “Tareq, you are becoming too dangerous.”
Right. You are the network operator. You’re their margin.
That is where everything started clicking for me. The chairman of Jio was not afraid to think the way I wanted to think, so I told him, “Look, I want to build our own Wi-Fi access point. If we buy an access point at $1,000, I am now convinced I could get you an access point at sub-$100.” A year later, the total cost of the Wi-Fi access point we built in Jio was $35.
This delta between $1,000 and $35 translates to a substantial amount of money saved, and it started by disaggregating everything. Jio enabled its cost structure, and it was able to offer it for free because it had an amazing partnership with suppliers that secured great business terms. Simplification of technology, LTE only, and an amazing process for network rollout all played huge factors in lowering the cost and economics for Jio.
Let me ask you more about that. Jio is a transformative network, and is now obviously the most popular in India. You were able to offer a much lower-cost product than the traditional cell providers with what sounds like very clever business moves. You went and negotiated new kinds of provider agreements and you said, “We have to actually integrate our products, find lower chips at cost, and make our own products. We have to build a new, efficient way to deploy the network with our technicians.”
To your credit, those are excellent management moves. At their core though, they are not technology moves. Now that you are onto Rakuten and saying you are going to build O-RAN, that is a technology play. Broadly, it sounds like you are going to take the management playbook that made Jio work, and now you are lowering costs even further with the technology of O-RAN — or you are proving out a technology that will one day enable further lower costs.
There were two things I could not do in Jio, and it’s not really anybody’s fault, the timing just wasn’t right. If you look at building a mobile network, I think everybody now more or less understands that you need antennas, bay stations, radio access, and core network infrastructure. But unless you are in this industry, you don’t realize the complexity of the operation tools that one needs in order to run and manage this distributed massive infrastructure.
The first thing I wanted to change in Jio is the traditional architecture. This management layer is called OSS [operation subsystems], and it is archaic, to put it politely. If you work in an adjacent vertical industry such as hyperscalers, an internet-facing company, you will be scratching your head saying, “I cannot believe this is how networks are managed today.”
Despite the elegance of the Gs and changing from one to five, the process of managing a network is as archaic as you could ever imagine. The idea of a true customer experience management is aloof; it is still a dream that nobody has enabled. The first thing I wanted to do is to change the paradigm of having thousands of disaggregated toolsets to manage a network into a consolidated platform. It was an idea that I couldn’t drive in Jio. I will tell you why that is even more important than Open RAN. These building blocks are for new architecture, the next generation of OSS.
If we build these operation platforms on a new modern architecture that supports real-time telemetry, the idea is to get real-time information about every element and node that you have into your network. Being able to correlate them and apply AI machine learning on top of them requires modern-age platforms. It is so critical to my dream.
Our success will not be celebrated because of Open RAN, but the grander vision of having Rakuten talked about as a company that does what Tesla has done for the electric industry in terms of autonomy. Autonomy in mobile networks is an absolutely amazing opportunity to build a resilient and reliable network that has better security architecture and does not need the complexity of the way we run and manage networks today. That was the first building block.
The impact of these big building blocks is massive. Here is the second thing I couldn’t do in Reliance Jio at the time. If you look at a pie chart on the cost structure for mobile networks, you may say, “Where do we spend money?” Regardless of geography, regardless of country, 70 to 80 percent of your spending always goes into this thing called radio access. Radio access today has been a private club that is really meant for about four or five companies, and that’s it. There is no diversification of the supply chain. You have no option but to buy from Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, or ZTE. Nobody else could sell you the products of radio access.
The radio access products are the base stations?
Correct. Those are the base stations.
Which are the components of the cell tower?
Yes, and they contribute to about 70 percent of the CapEx [capital expenditure]. They are the one area that no startup has ever embraced and said, “You know what? Why don’t we try to disaggregate this? Why don’t we start to move away from the traditional architecture for how these space stations are deployed? Instead of running on custom hardware, custom ASICs, let’s use true software that runs on commodity appliances equivalent to what you would find inside data centers.”
This concept has been talked about, but nobody was willing to take the risk in any startup. Maybe I was wrong that your job is secure if you pick a traditional vendor. That is what I was thinking through, four years ago.
This is like “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.”
Something like that.
Let me ask you this. Is it because the initial investment is so high? There are not many startup wireless networks in the world. When they do start, they need an enormous amount of capital just to buy the spectrum. Are the stakes too high to take that kind of risk?
I think as an industry, we make the mistake of not rewarding and supporting startups the way we should. Our ability to incubate and build a thriving ecosystem that is built on new innovations, ideas, and startups is still a dream. I do not think anyone in telecom would argue with that. The reality is that everybody wants to see it happening, but we are just not there yet.
It was complex to do what we did in Japan. It was not simple, nor was it easy. When you have a running network carrying massive amounts of traffic, of course there are risks that you are going to have to take. The risk in that case is ensuring that you don’t disrupt your running base with poor quality services. Maybe the fear in people’s minds is that this technology is not ready, or integrating it into their networks is too complex, or they don’t have the right skillset to go into a software-defined world where they will need to upscale or hire new organization.
You said that right now the four vendors are Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE. You have moved to Open RAN, open radio access, in Japan. Do you have more vendors than those four? Are you actually using the commodity hardware with the software to find network? Or is it still those four vendors but now you can run your code on them?
The foundation of success for Rakuten Mobile today started by Rakuten itself enabling and acquiring one of the most destructive companies in this Open RAN space. We bought a company in Boston called Altiostar, and I thought they had everything one could dream about, except nobody was willing to give them a chance. I diversified my hardware supply chain and purchased hardware through 11 suppliers. I mandated where manufacturing can happen, in terms of product, security, and chipsets. Also, the era that we entered focused on heightened security, especially around 5G. I felt really good about our ability to control manufacturing and supply chain.
The software Altiostar provided was the radio software for this entire open access network in Japan. Altiostar software is now running over 290,000 radiating elements. I mean, this is massive; 98 percent of the population coverage of Japan is served there.
I give huge credit to the large vendors. Nokia had a very big internal debate when I told them, “I want to buy your hardware, but not your software.” I know their board had to approve it, but this is the beauty of software disaggregation. Now, I buy one hardware aspect of the Nokia and Altiostar is running the radio software for that platform. We now have a diversified supply chain and we are no longer just counting on four hardware suppliers. We have a common software stack. The big building block, which is this OSS, has enabled our own platforms and tools.
Rakuten has purchased Altiostar from Boston. We have purchased an innovative cloud company in Silicon Valley called Robin.io for our Edge Cloud. We have purchased the OSS company called InnoEye and formulated this integrated technology stack that is now part of Rakuten Symphony.
You have described Rakuten’s network as being in the cloud several times. Very simply, what does it mean for a wireless network to be cloud-based?
To give you an image, four years ago I was asked to do a keynote in Japan on my first day there. Thanks to my translator, I think people understood the concepts I was explaining to them. I said, “Here is an image of what we don’t want to build.”
If I show you how to deliver voice and video messaging, most of the telecom networks across the world, even today, are still running into boxes of hardware. Having a cloud network means that your workloads are now moved away from proprietary implementation, to a complete network function software components. These software components run with the beauty of what is called microservices for software, and run with the elegance of things that cloud inherently supports, like capacity management, auto-elasticity, scale in, and scale out.
This is basic terminology. I’m not telling you about things that have been invented by Rakuten Mobile. It is thanks to Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, who have innovated like crazy on the cloud. I have just benefited from the innovation that they have done to deliver on scalability, resiliency, reliability, and a cost efficiency that one could never have imagined.
When it comes to the cost, this is a hyper-operation structure. There are 279,000 radiating elements, and the operational hit count in Rakuten Mobile is still sitting below 250 people.
As the number increases, there is no direct proportionality between the number of units in the network versus the number of employees in the network. There is absolutely no direct correlation whatsoever anymore. To me, that is what cloud is all about. All the things on top of it are modules that you need to derive to the operational efficiency that we did in Japan.
From an end user perspective, you have now architected this network differently. You have created a small revolution in the wireless industry from the provider level, where you can buy any hardware from 11 suppliers and run your software on it. Does the end user see an appreciable difference in quality? Or does it just lower the cost?
There is a huge difference from the end user point of view. One of the key reasons that Rakuten was encouraged and supported was because we were determined to enter the mobile segment in Japan. We felt that competition was stagnant, and the cost per user is one of the most expensive in the world.
To benefit the end consumer, we took a chapter from Jio’s strategy on lowering the cost burden economically. We did something that was so simple. At the time, the average plan rate in Japan was sitting about $100 US per user. We dropped that cost to $27 US, unlimited, no caps. When you go inside our stores, we change everything. We said, “Look, you don’t need to think about the plans. There is only one plan. That’s it.”
From a choices point of view, we made life super simple. We bundled local, we bundled international, we bundled everything under one local plan, and we tied it synergistically to the larger ecosystem of Rakuten. You acquire points as you buy things on e-commerce, as you buy things on our travel website, as you buy things from Rakuten Energy, or as you subscribe to Rakuten Bank. You could then use these points to pay off your cellular bill. The $27 could effectively be zero, because of the synergistic impact of other services you consume in Rakuten and the points you acquire from all of them.
Would Rakuten Mobile be profitable at $27 a customer? Is it being subsidized by the larger Rakuten?
We have to be profitable. Spectrum here is not auctioned in Japan; we are allocated spectrum, but there are conditions to it. You cannot just run a business that is not profitable standalone. So we will break even in Rakuten Mobile and make it standalone.
The way I think about it, it is not subsidized by the ecosystem. If I acquire you as a mobile customer, because of the impact I could bring to that larger sales contribution of you potentially buying from e-commerce or travel, I am using connectivity to empower the purchases of these 70-plus internet services, so we are actually contributing to the larger group. As long as the total top line revenue is increased because of mobile contribution, the group as a whole is going to be in good shape.
Even with standalone mobile, we are committed to our break-even point. We need to make it a profitable standalone business. The group as a whole has remarkable synergistic impact in our business. That is the benefit in value.
Now there is another benefit on the network architecture. Today we talk about the essence of marketing with Edge. The definition is so simple. It is all about bringing content as close to your device as humanly possible, to bring content close to you. I would always argue, if you have nothing but virtual machines or network functions that are software, the ability for you to move these software components from large data centers and all the way to the Edge is trivial. Hardware reallocation becomes more complex.
When the Edge use cases in Rakuten Mobile get delivered, you are hopefully going to hear some very amazing news about the lowest latency in the world delivered over the 5G network. This is the beginning of what is possible for new use cases for the consumer.
Think of cloud gaming. It has never been successful, at least in wireless, because networks could not sustain the latency that it would require. Speed, in my opinion, is a stupid metric to talk about. We should talk about latency, latency, latency! How do you deliver sub-4-millisecond latency on a wireless network?
It hasn’t happened yet on licensed spectrum, but I think you are going to see it very soon. There is an advantage to this software architecture and the creation of new age applications for cloud gaming. Even as we talk, people are getting excited about the metaverse, which will need these use cases to come alive in the mobile fabric.
So you have talked about Open RAN, how you have built it, how you have architected the network for Rakuten Mobile, how you have new software layers, and how you have new hardware relationships. You are also the CEO of Rakuten Symphony, which is the company inside Rakuten that would then license all these components to other vendors. Dish Network in this country is one of those providers, and they are at the beginning stages of trying to build a brand new greenfield Open RAN 5G network. If you were going to build an Open RAN network in the United States, how would you do it?
My focus would probably be a lot different than many people would think. It is not about technology. I have never in my life approached a problem where I think technology is the issue. We do not give ourselves enough credit for how creative we are as human beings and our ability to solve complex problems.
The first thing I would start with is structure, organization, and culture. What is the culture you need to have to do amazing, disruptive things? When I moved to Japan, I didn’t know anything about it. I always knew that I wanted to visit, but I didn’t know about the complexities and challenges I would have to face. I mean, imagine being in the heart of Tokyo, being largely driven and supported by an amazing leadership team that says, “The world is your canvas, hire from anywhere.”
I have brought in 17 nationalities — relocated, not as expats, as full-time employees in our office in Japan. Being this diversified, multicultural organization was the key. I did my own recruiting and handpicked my team. My focus was initially to find people with the spirits of warriors, that were willing to take on tough challenges and the bruises that came along with them, that would not get discouraged by people telling them something would not work.
Long story short, I would not build a network that has looked the same for 30 years. I would not build a network just because Rakuten has done it this way. I think networks of the future must have this essence of software and must have autonomy built into its DNA. This is not just about Open RAN, this is a holistic approach for fundamental transformation in the network architecture.
I ask this question a lot and the answers always surprise me. Most companies that I think of as hardware companies, once they make the investment in software, they end up with more software engineers than hardware engineers. Is that the case for you?
I have no hardware engineers at all. None. I think from the beginning, this was done by design. I knew that I could create an ecosystem in hardware, and I don’t want to be in the hardware business. From a fundamental business model, I had enough credible relationships in this industry to cultivate and create an ecosystem for people that just enjoy being in hardware design. But that is not us; it is not our fabric, not our DNA.
The more I look at the world, the more I see the success of companies that have invested heavily into the right skill sets, whether it is from data science, AI, ML, or the various software organizations that they have built. This is what I thought we needed.
If you go to Rakuten Symphony’s largest R&D center in India, we now have over 3,500 people that only do software. To me, that is an asset that is unprecedented in terms of the extent of capability, what we could build, what we could deliver, and the scale that we could deliver at. I don’t want to invest in hardware. I just think that it is not my business.
Our investment is all about platform. I really enjoy seeing the advancements that we have enabled, though we are still early in this journey. I have a lot of other things I want to accomplish before I say that Symphony has succeeded.
Symphony is a first-of-its-kind company, since it is going to sell a new kind of operating platform to other carriers. Do you have competitors? Do you see this being the next turn of the wireless industry? Are we going to see other platform integrators like Symphony show up and say to carriers, “Hey, we can do this part for you. You can focus on customer service or fighting with the FCC or whatever it is that carriers do”?
To be very honest with you, I love the idea of having more competitors in this space. It challenges my own team to stay on top of their toes, which is really good. At the same time, having more entrants come into the space would help me cultivate the hardware ecosystem today.
Symphony is uniquely positioned; there are not a whole lot of people that could provide the integrated stack that Symphony has. Symphony’s biggest advantage is that it has a running, live lab carrying a large commercial customer base called Rakuten Mobile. Nobody tells me, “Don’t do this or that on Rakuten Mobile.” I could do disruptive ideas or disruptive innovation, and test and validate new products and technologies before giving them to anybody else.
It’s good to be the CEO of both.
I know. This is one of the reasons I accepted and volunteered. I thought for the short term, it would be important to be able to control these two ecosystems, because Japan is a quality-sensitive market. If I build a high-quality network, nobody will doubt whether Symphony’s technology stack is credible, scalable, reliable, or secure. We are uniquely positioned because of our ability to deliver on a robust automation platform, Open RAN software technology architecture, and innovative Edge Cloud software.
I don’t see many in the industry that have the technology capabilities today that Symphony offers. People have bits and pieces of what we have, but when I look at the integrated stack, I’m really happy to see that we have some unique intellectual properties and IPs that are remarkably differentiated from the market today.
So Dish is obviously a client. We will see how their network goes. Are you talking to Telefónica, Verizon, and British Telecom? Are they thinking about O-RAN in this way?
Since it’s public in the US, I can talk about it. As I mentioned before, it is not just about the O-RAN discussion for me, it is about the whole story. We announced in the last Mobile World Congress that AT&T is working with Rakuten Symphony on a few disruptive applications around the digital workflow on the operation for wireless and wireline, the same as Telefónica in the UK and Telefónica in Germany. Our first big breakthrough was an integrated stack.
In the heart of Europe, in Germany, we are the provider for a new greenfield operator called 1&1. I told the CEO of 1&1 that my dream is to build Rakuten 2.0 in Germany, so we are building the entire fabric of this network. It has been an amazing journey to take all the lessons learned from Japan and be able now to bring them to Germany. We are in the early stages, but I am really optimistic to see what the future will hold for Open RAN as a whole for Symphony.
Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten Symphony have opened a well-needed, healthy debate in the industry about radio access provider alternatives and diversification that we need in order to move away into a software-driven network. We feel that is a big accomplishment for us.
As you build out the O-RAN networks, one thing that we know very well in the United States is that our handset vendors — Apple, Samsung, Google, Motorola — are very picky about qualifying their devices for networks.
Is there a difference in the conversation between a traditional network and an O-RAN network, when you go and talk to the Apples and Samsungs of the world?
Yes. Before we were approved as a mobile company to be able to sell their devices, I have to tell you about the pleasure of working with the likes of Apple. I’m being really honest about this; I really liked it. Their burden to quality was really high, as was their ability to accept and certify a quality of network. I thought if we got the certification that we needed from them, that’s another third-party audit; I would have cleared a big quality hurdle.
The Apple engineering team is really strong. They really understood the technology, which was great. There are a lot of facets to do with it that are fascinating. No matter how great it is, I had to pass a set of KPIs and metrics for device certification. This was not trivial. I went through the same journey with Jio, so I kind of have some ideas about the burdens to acceptance from large device manufacturing companies. I also knew that this is a process of identifying issues, solving them, coming back to the device vendors, and continuing to reiterate in improving the quality.
I went through the same journey in mobile, but just slightly after our commercial launch, when we got our commercial certification on being able to sell Apple devices, that was a big relief for all of us. A big relief, because it means that we have reached a quality level that they deem is minimally acceptable to carry the device.
Of course we monitor the quality every day, so I’m really happy that we have done this. We have proven that the Open RAN network, especially the software that we have built in Japan, is running with amazing reliability. Rather than celebrating our courageous attempt to do something good for everybody, the early days of our journey were all about skepticism. Like, “This will not work. This will not work.”
Was Apple more skeptical of your network going into tests than others since the technology is different?
The device vendors were very supportive. The skepticism came from the fear, uncertainty, and doubt from traditional OEMs and vendors who wanted to tell everybody that this technology is horrible. It was to such an extent I ignored everything. I still do today. I say you cannot argue the benefit of cloud brought to IT and enterprise. There is an indisputable benefit to this. When it comes to telco, why would you argue the advantage and benefit of moving all your workloads to the cloud?
I think this debate is ending, and it is ending much quicker and in a better place for everybody. I have huge admiration for what Apple has done. It’s a really impressive company. The more that we continue to engage with them, the more we can tell that this company is obsessed with quality. I thought if we cleared the hurdle of getting their acceptance, then it shows another validation for us that we are running a high-quality network. They are a strategic, critical part of our provider ecosystem today in Japan.
Let me flip this question around real quick. One of my favorite things about the Indian smartphone market is how wide open it is on the device side. This is something that happened after Jio rolled out, but I was friends with a former editor of Gadgets 360 in India, Kunal Dua, and he told me, “My team covers 12 to 15 Android phone launches a week.”
The device market is wide open, you can connect anything, there are dual SIMs, and the genuine consumer experience of picking a phone is of unlimited choice. That is not the case in the United States or in other countries. What do you think the benefits of that are? I am quite honestly jealous that there is that much choice in that market.
I think a couple of things in India really benefit the country quite a bit. When you have massive volume, people are intrigued to enter these economies that exist. Certain things have changed in Japan as well. The government policies are mandating the support for open device ecosystems.
In our case, we even told them that 100 percent of our device portfolio will support eSIM, which gives you the ability and flexibility to switch carriers within one second. You can just say, “Oh, I don’t like this. I like this.” The freedom of choices is just unparalleled. We, as Rakuten Mobile, changed the business model. We said, “Look, we will enable eSIM. There are no fees for termination of contracts. There are no fees for anything. If you don’t like us, you can leave. If you do like us, you are part of our family.”
We made it really simple, because it is a dream for us to build an open ecosystem. We are trying to see if it is relatively successful to open up a storefront for open device markets, since we own a very large e-commerce website. Come in, purchase, and acquire.
The difference between India and the US is that India does not subsidize the device. As a consumer in the US, you have been trained that you can buy an iPhone by signing a contract, and the iPhone will be subsidized by the carrier. A consumer could benefit from this open device ecosystem, but there would have to be a mentality change. Will a consumer accept the idea that they have to buy a device? From a carrier point of view, I still argue that if they don’t subsidize, maybe they could lower the cost of their tariffs.
It is still an evolution. For us in mobile, we have pretty much adopted what India has done. We said, “bring your own device,” and we promoted all these devices that you are talking about in India. We brought them into our e-commerce site. In Japanese, it is called Ichiba. So we brought them to the Ichiba website, gave them a storefront, let them advertise, and let them market. Our website has a massive amount of daily active users that come to it, and we do not necessarily benefit from selling their devices, but we don’t want to subsidize any device. That is subjective.
What is the biggest challenge of O-RAN? You have a long history in this industry. I’m sure many challenges are familiar to you in building a traditional network. What is the biggest, most surprising challenge of building it in this way?
Let me tell you the part that I was surprised about. Some parts were easier, some more difficult. If I take you to a traditional base station and we examine what is really there at this radio site, we will find that almost 95 percent of every deployment is the same. Basically, there is a big refrigerator cabinet, and inside this cabinet there is something called the base band. This is the brain of the base station. This base band was built on custom ASICs that large companies needed to constantly invest into this hardware development for.
The first thing that we have done is remove the software and move it into what is called cuts appliances, off-the-shelf appliances, like a traditional data center server. I recognize that the software only gets better; there are no issues with software. The difficult part was that the hardware components you need for the base station are really complex.
At every site, there is an antenna that has a transmitting unit, called either a remote radiohead, or massive MIMO in 5G. These products need to support a huge diversity of spectrum bands, because in every country there are different spectrum bands and different bandwidth. If you are a traditional provider — say Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE — these companies have invested in a large organization, with tens of thousands of people, whose entire job is to create this massive hardware that could support all these diversified spectrum bands.
My number-one challenge with Rakuten Mobile is to find these hardware suppliers, because there are not a whole lot of them for Open RAN. The hardware suppliers that could support diversified spectrum requirements — because country to country it will be different — turned out to be a really big challenge. The approach that we have taken in Japan is to go to middle-size companies and startups. I funded them and encourage them to build the hardware that we need.
My biggest challenge and my biggest headache is spending time trying to find a company that has capability and scale to become the hardware provider for Open RAN at the right cost structure. The hardware you need for both 4G and 5G is not to be underestimated. I think it is easier to solve the issues around some of the RF units that one would need for these base stations. This is my personal challenge, and I know the industry as a whole needs to solve for this.
I know these are complicated products, but are these companies worried that it is a race to the bottom? Most PC vendors ship the same Intel Processor, the same basic parts, and they have to differentiate around the edges or do services for recurring revenue. We talk about this on Decoder all the time. The big four that you mentioned sell you the whole stack and then charge for service and support. That is a very high-margin business. If you commoditize the hardware and say, “I am going to run my own software,” do those companies worry it is just a race to the bottom?
Let’s differentiate between large companies and new entrants. I think new entrants in hardware are comfortable and content, understanding the value they provide by being commodity suppliers. Let me give you an analogy. Let’s say Apple uses Foxconn to manufacture its devices. I am sure Foxconn will not tell you they are unhappy about this business model. It has built their entire strategy around high-value engineering, high-yield, and high-capacity manufacturing, because that is how they make revenue. They do not bundle support services.
I found that the new age manufacturing companies I was looking for were companies like Foxconn. Companies that understand the new business model that I want to create.
The most amazing thing that the US, and some companies are probably not aware of, is the elegance that we have in the United States around silicon companies. It is amazing how they genuinely are one of the most innovative in the world in terms of capability. It still exists in the US; we still control this. Today, Qualcomm, Intel, Nvidia, Broadcom, and many other companies, provide a lot of technology in a way that is needed for these products. We go and build reference designs directly with the silicon companies, and then I take that reference design, go to a contract manufacturer, and say, “Build this reference design.”
This new way of working seems like the future. Hopefully one day, for the hardware supply chain ecosystem, many companies like Foxconn will start to exist and will appreciate the value they need to build hardware for all suppliers. Maybe Ericsson or Nokia will one day have to look and evaluate a pivoting opportunity to go into a software world that may have a much better valuation.
Look at the stock price of traditional telecom companies today. Look at the stock price of ServiceNow, a digital workflow tool. Look at the difference between them. One is a complete SaaS model; one lives on a traditional business model. I don’t think the market appreciates and recognizes that this may be the right thing to do.
It seems like it is inevitable. It is just a matter of time for traditional vendors to start pivoting. I want this hardware to be commoditized. It is very important. The value you compete on has to be software, it cannot be hardware.
Rakuten Mobile is only a couple years old. It is the fourth carrier in Japan, and you have 5 million subscribers. Japan is a big country. KDDI has 10X the subscribers. Is the ambition to be the number one carrier, like Jio became the number one carrier in India? How would you get there?
I am really proud about what we have done in Japan. I think for many people that have been through this journey of building networks, they will know it is not a trivial process. We had two pragmatic challenges.
First, we had to prove to the world that a new technology actually works and delivers on cost, resiliency, and reliability. That’s a check mark; done. That is not just me telling you today, but audited by a third party. Look at the performance, quality and reliability we do. Second, if you are in the mobile business, I think you have one area that new technology cannot easily solve for you. You need to have ubiquitous coverage everywhere and anywhere you go.
I am not sure if you have ever visited Tokyo, Japan, but you should know this is a concrete jungle. It’s amazing. The density that exists in an area like Tokyo, the subways and the coverage you have to provide for them, and the amount of capacity you have to cater for, is not trivial. In two years, we have been able to build a network to cater for 96 percent of Japan coverage. I have never seen the speed that a network could be built at, at this scale.
So our ambition is not to be a fourth mobile operator in Japan. It is by far to be a highly disruptive ecosystem provider in which we want to take the number-one position in this country. The approach we take here is very simple. We need to ensure that ubiquitous, high-quality coverage is delivered anywhere you go in Japan. We are almost there.
I’m not just talking about the outdoors. High-rises, indoor, deep indoor, basements, subways. Anything and everywhere you go, an amazing network must be delivered. And second is the point/membership/loyalty that I talked to you about earlier. We think that’s a huge differentiator from the competitors, just to bring a much bigger value, and being obsessed about the customer experience and the services that we have offered.
From being an infant, to where we are today, I am really happy about what the team has accomplished, but we have a lot of work that we need to focus on to finish the last remaining 3 percent of our build. That percent is extremely important to achieve the quality of coverage that we need to really be at par and better.
I know my cost today is 40 percent cheaper in running my network than any competitor in Japan. I have an advantage that is virtually impossible for anybody in Japan to compete against today around network cost structure. So that gives me a leg up on what we could do, what business models we could experiment with, and the actions that we will take. You will see us very decisive in our approach, because we don’t want just to be another carrier in Japan. We want to be leading mobile operators in this country.
All right, Tareq. That was amazing. I feel like I could talk to you for another full hour about this. Thank you so much for being on Decoder.
Nokia announced that Orange Egypt has opted to modernize its existing Nokia SDM solution to support the operator’s subscriber growth over the next five years.
The enhancements to the SDM network include a total modernization of the solution with upgraded hardware and ongoing software releases. The new system will allow Orange Egypt’s users to benefit from improved reliability and security, as well as enable Orange Egypt to enhance operational efficiency and meet the evolving capacity and service needs of its subscribers.
Nokia’s 3GPP-compliant SDM solution includes Nokia Registers – Home Subscriber Server, Home Location Register and One-NDS (Network Directory Server), plus 5G’s Unified Data Management and Authorization Server Function. Together the components will allow Orange Egypt to better manage subscriber data across different technology networks.
Nokia’s SDM solution is deployed over three geographical sites and serves around 33 million mobile and fixed Orange Egypt subscribers. This includes subscribers of 2G, 3G, 4G, fixed services, data and voice, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) with Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) services. The new upgraded system supports the upcoming launch of 5G services.
Ayman Amiri, Chief Technology Officer at Orange Egypt
The modernized, industry-leading Nokia SDM solution will help us better address the evolving needs of our customers. Building on our existing experience leveraging Nokia’s SDM solution, we are looking forward to leveraging these upgrades as we consolidate our customer base across different technologies and move towards 5G.
Adel Hani, Head of Orange MENA Customer Business Team at Nokia
Our SDM solution is helping service providers across the world to cost-effectively manage data across several applications. We are thrilled that Orange Egypt will modernize Nokia’s already-deployed SDM to gain newer efficiencies and capabilities. The extension of this deal is a reflection of our strong and enduring relationship with Orange Egypt.
Enables network operators to validate the reliability of high bandwidth and scale 800 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) in service provider and data center environments
SANTA ROSA, Calif., August 03, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced it has collaborated with Nokia to successfully demonstrate the first public 800GE test, validating the readiness of next-generation optics for service providers and network operators.
With the move to the 800GE pluggable optics on front panel ports, interconnect and link reliability requires a new round of validation cycles to support carrier-class environments. These high-speed interfaces create a unique challenge as new 800GE capable silicon devices, optical transceivers and high bandwidth Ethernet speeds must be accurately tested.
The readiness testing was conducted at Nokia’s private SReXperts customer event in Madrid in June 2022, and included Keysight’s AresONE 800GE Layer 1-3 800GE line rate test platform and the Nokia 7750 Service Routing platform. The AresONE was used to test and qualify Nokia’s FP5 network processor silicon along with 800GE pluggable optics. Specific Nokia platforms used in the validation were the FP5 based 7750 SR-1x-48D supporting 48 ports of 800GE and the 7750 SR-1se supporting 36 ports of 800GE.
Nokia’s FP5 silicon delivers 112G SerDes which enables 800GE support in hardware. FP5 enables networks to efficiently scale capacity and concurrently IP subscriber services while maintaining integrity, providing advanced protection against escalating network security threats, and lowering power consumption. Nokia is the first vendor to ship high-density 800GE systems this year with platforms supporting a range of 36 x 800GE in compact fixed platforms to 432 ports of 800GE in the flagship 7750 SR-14s.
"The move to 800GE presents service providers and vendors in the supply chain with new challenges to validate chips, optical transceivers, or networking equipment port electronics," said Ram Periakaruppan, vice president and general manager, Keysight's Network Test and Security Solutions group. "The unique combination of the Keysight AresONE 800GE test system and Nokia's 7750 Service Router addresses the interoperability challenges in 112Gbps electrical lane signaling and supports the service provider community to accelerate validation of carrier-class 800GE devices and network infrastructure in a multi-service environment."
"We are extremely pleased to partner with Keysight and showcase our FP5 silicon in this important, world’s first demonstration," said Ken Kutzler, vice president of IP Routing Hardware at Nokia. "Nokia’s industry leading, innovative FP5 silicon is the first network processor silicon for high-performance routing to meet the demands of the 800GE network upgrade cycle. The combination of Keysight’s AresONE 800GE with Nokia’s FP5 and 7750 SR platform meets both the performance and verification needs of our 800GE IP routing interfaces."
About Keysight Technologies
Keysight delivers advanced design and validation solutions that help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight’s dedication to speed and precision extends to software-driven insights and analytics that bring tomorrow’s technology products to market faster across the development lifecycle, in design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimization and visibility in enterprise, service provider and cloud environments. Our customers span the worldwide communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics markets. Keysight generated revenues of $4.2B in fiscal year 2020. For more information about Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS), visit us at www.keysight.com.
Additional information about Keysight Technologies is available in the newsroom at https://www.keysight.com/go/news and on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220803005667/en/
KEYSIGHT TECHNOLOGIES CONTACTS:
Geri Lynne LaCombe, Americas/Europe
+1 303 662 4748
Fusako Dohi, Asia
+81 42 660-2162
The much-hyped and awaited mega 5G spectrum auction is under way. The spectrum will be allocated by August 14, according to Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, with a planned rollout by September.
Telecom service providers, such as Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, have been running their own 5G trials for the past couple of years with encouraging results. But results in a controlled test environment can wildly differ from real-time rollout.
One question is on everyone's minds — will 5G truly be able to usher in the next generation of internet connectivity, or will it be simply 4.5G, which is to say, a slight improvement over the existing 4G speeds we experience in India?
Huzefa Motiwala, Director – Systems Engineering for India & SAARC, Palo Alto Networks, quoting a PwC report, says 5G’s projected economic impact will amount to US$42bn for the Indian economy by 2030. "With industries moving toward 5G-powered automation and hyperscale, a wide range of use cases such as IoT, smart cities, smart grids, and smart factories will emerge to deliver large-scale advancement for enterprises and individuals," Motiwala said.
Last November, Airtel — in partnership with Nokia — had conducted what it claims was India's first 5G trial in the low-frequency 700 MHz band in Kolkata. During the trial, Airtel and Nokia claimed they were able to achieve high speeds (though they did not say how much) within a 40km coverage radius. In a later test in Hyderabad, the service provider achieved a speed of 3 Gbps.
Vodafone Idea, meanwhile, said it had achieved a speed of 6 Gbps during trials held in Pune this May, in the high-frequency millimetre wave (mmWave) and the mid-frequency bands. Vodafone Idea used equipment provided by Ericsson. Reliance Jio too had achieved a obtain speed of 420 Mbps and an upload speed of 412 Mbps using its own equipment.
But one has to bear in mind these speeds could drop drastically once the network takes on subscriber load, which will impact latency and coverage.
That said, will the Indian government be able to roll out 5G by September as is its current plan? Some say it is possible, while others say it is ambitious, with a year-end rollout being the more likely scenario.
Ericsson, which is one of the leading makers of telecommunications equipment and a major player in India, feels the infrastructure is ready and telecom service providers can hit the ground running as soon as they are allocated the spectrum.
"With global technology leadership of more than 121 live 5G networks, Ericsson is well poised to support Indian telecom operators in their journey towards 5G," a confident Ericsson told CNBC-TV18.
However, Rishi Bhatnagar, Chairman of the IET Future Tech Panel — a private platform for engineering stakeholders — and President of Aeris Communications, an end-to-end Internet of Things company, said a more realistic window for rollout would be the the end of the year.
"All telecom operators and equipment manufacturers have together done pilots all over India. Hence ,in a way, the backend infrastructure is mostly ready, but the stress testing of the same is still pending. Hence, it is doubtful if (telecom operators) can absolutely hit the ground running right away ... the transition time is expected to be within 4-5 months," Bhatnagar said.
Others too expressed reservations about whether 5G services can be rolled out in two months. It must be noted here that the 5G rollout will initially be limited to just 13 major cities in India. "India is a vast country, and large swathes don't even have access to 3G, let alone 4G or 5G. It will remain a challenge to roll out services so swiftly," one industry watcher said, on the condition of anonymity.
According to media reports, Airtel too expects a moderate rollout of 5G services, but not because of equipment — which the carrier says it has enough of — but because of the low 5G smartphone userbase in India, which stood at 4 percent last fiscal and is expected to grow to 14-16 percent by the 2023-24 financial year.
Jio too said it is ready, stating that "5G coverage planning has been completed for 1,000 top cities across the country", and adding that it has been conducting trials "on advanced use cases across healthcare and industrial automation".
First Published: IST
Recently, Nokia completely revamped its smartphone lineup, doing away with the older number naming scheme in favor of the new C-Series, G-Series, and X-Series. The G-Series sits firmly in the midrange — and the latest model in that series is the new Nokia G20.
The Nokia G20 costs $200, which means it’s pretty affordable. But affordable phones have gotten a whole lot better over the past few years, so the phone still has to compete.
Does the Nokia G50 offer enough to beat out the likes of the Galaxy A01 and Moto G Power? I’ve been using it for a while now to find out.Nokia G20 Budget Smartphone List Price:$199.00 Price:$170.00 You Save:$29.00 (15%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Budget phones look better and better these days. Gone are the days when edge-to-edge displays were reserved for high-end phones. The Nokia G20 may have a small chin and a teardrop notch, but it still also offers a relatively expansive 6.52-inch display that takes up most of the front of the phone.
That said, you can still tell that this is a budget phone. The back of the device is built from plastic, and it does feel a little cheap. Of course, plastic is more durable than glass, but most people end up using a case anyway, so that may not matter as much. Also on the back is a circular camera module, which houses the quad-camera setup.
On the right edge of the phone, you’ll find a power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor, along with a volume rocker. On the left, there’s a dedicated Google Assistant button and the SIM tray. The bottom is where you’ll find the USB-C port — and on the top is a headphone jack. Nice.
The display is fine, but not amazing. It’s an LCD display with a 720p resolution, and it gets bright enough for most indoor use. In direct sunlight, you may have some issues with being able to see the screen, and you can definitely see the pixels considering its lower resolution. It’s to be expected in this price range, but a little extra brightness would have still been nice.
Under the hood, the Nokia G20 offers a MediaTek Helio G35 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM. It’s not a powerhouse, and frankly, the phone regularly stuttered even in day-to-day use. Multi-tasking worked fine, but if you start juggling more than two or three apps, you’re likely to run into some issues.
It’s not all bad though. Google Assistant seemed to perform decently well, answering questions quickly. Basic scrolling through social media feeds was smooth too, so if all you do on your phone is browse social media and search the web, the Nokia G20 should do the trick.
Less demanding games also did fine on the phone. If you’re more of a Solitaire and crossword type of gamer, don’t worry about the phone not performing well. Playing on more demanding games, like Call of Duty: Mobile, however, was a bit more problematic. The game was a little jittery and slow to load, and while it’s playable, most gamers will find it a little frustrating.
Benchmarks confirmed the lackluster performance. The device scored 171 in GeekBench 5’s single-core score, and 942 in its multi-core score.
It’s a little frustrating given the competition. The Moto G Power, for example, comes at $170, and offers much better performance.
The battery on the phone, thankfully, is a redeeming quality. The device comes with a relatively large 5,050mAh battery, and it will easily last you a full day of even relatively heavy use, and well into the next day. Even after a few hours of gaming, the device will likely have more than enough battery to get you through the day.
The phone doesn’t offer 5G support, and bizarrely it also doesn’t offer 5GHz Wi-Fi support. So you’re limited to your slow 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection, which is a little frustrating.
The Nokia G20 features a quad-camera system, with a 48-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel ultrawide camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth camera. More cameras don’t necessarily equate to better-quality photos though. The Nokia G20 is able to take some decent shots — as long as you’re in the right environment.
The main camera was generally able to deliver detailed shots in well-lit environments. Colors were a little muted at times, and the camera wasn’t all that consistent, but it does the trick. Details are a little more hit and miss when using the ultrawide camera, and they were downright sub-par with the macro camera. I hope manufacturers move away from these low-quality 2-megapixel macro cameras that have a fixed focus of 4cm.
In low light, the phone’s camera doesn’t really compete. There is a built-in Night Mode, but it’s not great. Again, it’ll work in a pinch, but I hope higher-end night modes start to bleed down to cheaper phones in the near future.
Video quality is also only fine here. The device can capture 1,080p video at 30 frames per second, but that’s about where it ends.
Generally speaking, you shouldn’t expect much from the Nokia G20’s camera, especially in more challenging scenarios.
The Nokia G20 comes with Android One, which means that it comes with a very clean interface without any tampering from Nokia. That’s great news — I much prefer stock Android to any other OEM-built version of Android. Being part of the Android One program also means that the device will get updates to Android 12 and Android 13, plus security updates through 2024. That’s pretty good.
Generally, I found that the software experience on the Nokia G20 was smooth and easy to use.
The Nokia G20 is a bit hit-and-miss. The device isn’t bad per se, but the lackluster performance definitely holds it back. That said, if you do really care about super long battery life and want updates for at least a few years, the Nokia G20 isn’t a bad option.
The main competition in this price range comes from Motorola. The Moto G Power, for example, comes at $220 and offers much better performance, and still has excellent battery life. Ultimately, if you want a great phone in this price range, we recommend the Moto G Power.
No. You should get the Motorola Moto G Power instead.Nokia G20 Budget Smartphone List Price:$199.00 Price:$170.00 You Save:$29.00 (15%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Nokia launches knowledge hub for newcomer broadband network builders
28 July 2022
Espoo, Finland – Nokia has today launched the Fiber Techzone knowledge hub. The free resource, aimed at newcomers to the fiber broadband space, gives comprehensive guidance about how to plan, fund, build, operate, and monetize a broadband network.
According to Omdia, fiber broadband today reaches 850 million homes, or 65% of the global population, and will grow to 70% by 2025. A diverse ecosystem of operators includes major communication service providers, utility companies, investment companies building open networks which are wholesaled to virtual operators, start-ups and even cable operators.
In many countries, newcomer, community-based operators are leading the drive to connect the harder to reach homes. Whilst fiber deployments will last many generations, the initial investment in digging up the roads is high. Governments around the world are providing significant investment to support new builds, but completing grant applications requires deep domain understanding.
Erik Keith, Senior Research Analyst for Broadband Infrastructure at S&P Global, said: “As eidenced by $65 billion being pledged in the US and £5 billion in the UK for broadband network deployment grants, supporting Alternative Network Operators, or ‘Altnets’ will be crucial to bridging the digital divide . Providing Altnets with dedicated educational resources will be of huge value in facilitating their continued growth.”
Fiber Techzone will provide broadband builders with much needed insight, from high level explanations of how fiber-to-the-home networks work, to how they can Improve in-home Wi-Fi experience for their customers, to recommendations how to monetize their fiber investment.
Sandy Motley, President, Fixed Networks at Nokia, said: “I am personally passionate about the role of fixed broadband in improving people’s lives and our capabilities to help accelerate deployments. Having a long history in fiber broadband, Nokia has seen many of the challenges that our customers have had to deal with and helped in solving them. Fiber Techzone is intended to bring up to speed everyone who is starting with fiber and will be a must-bookmark site giving new builders a head-start in their planning and operation.”
According to Dell’Oro, Nokia was the 2021 market share leader for XGS-PON equipment, today’s gold standard for fiber networks. Fiber Techzone draws on Nokia’s 20+ years of building fiber networks and its leadership in all aspects, from network equipment to operational software to home Wi-Fi beacons.
Melissa Schoeb, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Nokia, said: “High speed broadband is no longer a nice to have but is essential for access to education, healthcare and new, innovative services coming to the digital marketplace. As laid out in our People and Planet Report, bridging the digital divide is a key goal for Nokia and our Fiber Techzone will play a pivotal educational role.”
* Omdia: Fixed Broadband Subscriptions and Revenue Forecast Report: 2021–26
Fiber Techzone website, the knowledge hub for fiber broadband networks
At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together.
As a trusted partner for critical networks, we are committed to innovation and technology leadership across mobile, fixed, and cloud networks. We create value with intellectual property and long-term research, led by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs.
Adhering to the highest standards of integrity and security, we help build the capabilities needed for a more productive, sustainable, and inclusive world.
[ Back To www.mobilitytechzone.com\LTE's Homepage ]
These phones are best suited for day-to-day work and are affordable
In today’s world, functioning without a mobile phone seems like an impossible task. With the introduction of mobile phones, life has become way easier. You no longer have to memorise numbers or notes as all these can be stored easily on your 4-inch mobile phone. With the latest technological advancements, we have seen some of the best-looking smartphones on the market. If you’re hunting for a 4-inch mobile phone or under it, we have curated a complete list here.
These are affordable and will not burn your pockets like other smartphones. Let’s dive into our list of best mobile phones under 4 inches.
1. Nokia 6310 Dual SIM Keypad Phone with a 2.8” Screen
The existing edition of the Nokia6310 Dual SIM Keypad Phone is packed with exciting features.With long battery life and pre-loaded games, this phone is an investment if you’re hunting for under 4-inch mobile phones.
|Handy||Available in only one colour|
|Presence of a dual sim slot||Limited storage|
Nokia 6310 Dual SIM Keypad Phone with a 2.8” Screen, Wireless FM Radio and Rear Camera with Flash | Black
24% off ₹ 3,399 ₹ 4,499
2. Nokia 110 Dual SIM (Black)
Nokia 110 is another most loved launch by Nokia, which falls under the 4-inch mobile phone. With a 1.77-inch display and expandable storage of up to 32 GB - this phone has good features. The phone has all the basic and advanced features to keep you busy and hooked.
|Sleek and sturdy design||Limited storage.|
|Presence of video player.||Available in only one colour|
|Comes with a dual sim|
Nokia 110 Dual SIM (Black)
13% off ₹ 1,699 ₹ 1,949
3. Nokia 225 4G Dual SIM
The Nokia 225 is one of the most preferred on the list. It comes with all the perks of a 4G network. With features like a long-lasting battery, backlight and signature sturdiness, it is one of many Nokia devices which have managed to win the hearts of many.
|It has a sturdy and stylish design.||It has limited storage space.|
|Comes with Bluetooth|
|It comes with a dual sim slot.|
Nokia 225 4G Dual SIM Feature Phone with Long Battery Life, Camera, Multiplayer Games, and Premium Finish – Black Colour
15% off ₹ 3,749 ₹ 4,399
4. LAVA A1 (Candy Blue), Number Talker, Smart AI Battery,4 Days Battery Backup, Military-Grade Certified, Keypad Mobile
The Lava A1 phone is one of India’s best phones featuring a screen size under 4 inches. With compact size and sturdy design, it has all the basic and advanced features to keep you hooked. It has a strong battery backup as well.
|Battery backup for up to 4 days||Small screen size.|
|Wireless radio FM present.||No RAM present.|
Lava A5 (Gold), Military Grade Certified with 3 Days Battery Backup, Sound Leakage Resistance, Super Battery Mode, Keypad Mobile
18% off ₹ 1,409 ₹ 1,719
5. LG Optimus Hub E510 (White)
LG Optimus Hub E510 is one of the most effective 4-inch Mobile Phones. It is simple yet elegant. The best part is it can fit in your pocket easily. The keypad is highly functional and features a built-in camera. With a standby time of 375 hours, LG Optimus Hub E510 is a perfect pick.
|Great storage||Higher cost than other phones|
|Sleek and classy||It is present in only one colour|
LG Optimus Hub E510 (White)
6. Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830 (Pure White)
Another best pick from the lot is the Samsung Galaxy phone. It comes in Pure white colour giving a sleek and elegant look. The 5 MP camera and 320 by 480 pixels resolution is a great pick.
|Sleek and sturdy design||Available in only one colour|
|Presence of Bluetooth||Limited storage|
|Great camera quality||It comes with a single sim|
Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830 (Pure White)
7. Samsung Guru Music2 (SM-315)
The Samsung Guru Music2 mobile phone stands out from the other 4-inch mobile phones due to its tremendous strength and compatibility. With a single SIM slot, you can carry out all the basic functions of this phone.
|Stylish and lightweight body||Limited storage space|
|With a 2-inch display, it gives a large display for you||RAM is absent|
|The OS is highly functional and packed with many features.|
SAMSUNG GURU MUSIC2 (SM315) (SM-315) (Gold)
8% off ₹ 2,290 ₹ 2,499
8. Nokia 105 Single SIM (Blue)
Nokia has been one of the most trusted names by users worldwide for its quality, build, and strength. The Nokia 105 phone is packed with features such as compact size, the presence of a torch, and so on.
|Presence of a torch or flashlight||Absence of Android OS|
|Sleek and sturdy||Limited space for memory storage|
|Bluetooth present||Only one sim slot|
Nokia 105 Single SIM (Blue)
9. Lava A3
The Lava A3 mobile phone is one of the best 4-inch mobile phones in India. It has all the latest facilities that make it stand out from the list. It has a stylish and lightweight body that gives it a sleek appearance. The audio output of the device is amazing. It ought to provide the best music experience for you.
|Sleek and stylish design||Limited storage capacity|
|Sturdy and tough||No RAM present|
|Best music experience|
Lava A3 (Dark Blue) - Dual Sim Mobile with 1750 mAh Big Battery and 32 GB Expandable Storage
8% off ₹ 1,212 ₹ 1,319
10. Samsung Metro 313 (SM-B313E, Gold)
The Samsung Metro 313 phone is one of the most effective 2G mobile phones on the list. It has a simple yet elegant build that can easily fit in your pocket. The keypad is highly functional and very much responsive. It also has an in-built camera for your inconvenience.
|Presence of camera||Limited storage space|
|It comes in exciting colours and features||RAM absent|
|The Samsung Proprietary OS is the most compatible.|
Samsung Metro 313 (SM-B313E, Gold)
|Nokia 6310 Dual SIM||₹4499|
|Nokia 110 Dual SIM (Black)||₹1949|
|Nokia 225 4G Dual SIM||₹4399|
|LG Optimus Hub E510||₹3466|
|Samsung Galaxy Ace||₹9200|
|Samsung Guru Music2||₹2499|
|Nokia 105 Single SIM (Blue)||₹2999|
|Samsung Metro 313||₹2750|
Best 3 important features for consumers
|Product||feature 1||feature 2||feature 3|
|Nokia 6310 Dual SIM||Easy to use and carry||All day entertainment with FM radio||Cmes with rear camera and flash|
|Nokia 110 Dual SIM (Black)||Comes with a dual sim slot||Offers 14 hours talk time||Comes with expandable memory|
|Nokia 225 4G Dual SIM||Comes with premium design features||Easy to grip||Extremely lightweight|
|LAVA A5||0.3MP primary camera||Comes with 24MB RAM||High pixel resolution|
|LG Optimus Hub E510||Easy to touch screen||512MB RAM||375 hours talk time|
|Samsung Galaxy Ace||5MP primary camera||Comes with LED flash light||11 hours talk time|
|Samsung Guru Music2||Supports GSM technology||Comes with 1GB memory storage||Comes with MP3|
|Nokia 105 Single SIM (Blue)||Comes in several colours||Primary clock speed||Saves upto 2,000 contacts|
|LAVA A3||0.3 MP camera||Supports 64k colours||6 days battery backup|
|Samsung Metro 313||Comes with.3 MP camera||16GB RAM||High pixel resolution|
Best 3 important features for consumers
Best value for money
The Lava A1 is priced at ₹1249 after a discount. If you’re looking for a phone perfect for everyday use, this might be the one for you. It is lightweight and budget-friendly in every possible way. The phone has excellent features like Bluetooth Enabled, Dual SIM, and a Camera.
The Nokia 105 Single SIM is one of the recently launched Nokia mobile phones under 4-inch mobile phones. It is priced at ₹1699. This phone is an ideal investment because of its exciting features that attract every user. If you’re hunting for a great quality mobile phone under 4 inches, going with this one will be proven fruitful in the long term.
How to find the perfect 4-inch mobile phones?
Here is how you can find your perfect 4-inch mobile phone -
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Which brand provides the Under 4-inch Mobile Phones?
Samsung is one of the best brands launching highly-advanced 4-inch mobile phones.
2. What are some specifics of the 5 4G Dual SIM?
The specifications of the Nokia 225 4G Dual SIM are:
3. What is the price range for 4-inch Mobile Phones?
The price for 4-inch Mobile Phones may vary every day. In general, it ranges from ₹1000 to ₹10,000. The prices may increase or decrease depending upon the time of purchase.
4. What are the best options for 4-inch Mobile Phones?
Here is the list -
5. Which brand provides maximum mobiles in this range?
Most mobile phones under this range are generally manufactured by either Nokia or Samsung.
At Hindustan Times, we help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and products. Hindustan Times has an affiliate partnership, so we may get a part of the revenue when you make a purchase.
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(Pocket-lint) - Some of you might remember Nokia's XpressMusic phones. Launched in 2006, they were designed to rival Sony Ericsson's Walkman devices, leading to a range of phones with specific music functionality.
Nokia has launched its latest feature phone that very much continues the series and it's called the Nokia 5710 XpressAudio. It builds on the Nokia 5310 launched in 2020.
It's a feature phone running S30+ software and rocking a retro-vintage T9 keyboard, but it's what's on the back of the phone that's going to get people excited.
Yes, the 5710 XpressAudio comes with its own headphones that tuck into the back of the device, with a sliding cover. That means you don't have to worry about carrying around your headset - the buds are just there, ready to be used, whenever you feel like you need music.
There's a big advantage here too: you just need to slip your phone in your pocket and you don't have to worry about carrying around a case to put them away in.
Otherwise the phone is very much Nokia feature phone territory, supporting 4G and offering a 2.4-inch display, a basic camera and a 3.5mm headphone socket.
The question, of course is where you're going to get your music from. There's an FM tuner on board and an MP3 player … and that's what you'll have to use for your music, because there's no Spotify on this phone.
The Nokia 5710 XpressAudio will be available for £74.99 from July 2022.
Writing by Chris Hall.
Nokia (NOK) has been one of the most searched-for stocks on Zacks.com lately. So, you might want to look at some of the facts that could shape the stock's performance in the near term.
Over the past month, shares of this technology company have returned +6.1%, compared to the Zacks S&P 500 composite's +0.2% change. During this period, the Zacks Wireless Equipment industry, which Nokia falls in, has gained 10.7%. The key question now is: What could be the stock's future direction?
While media releases or rumors about a substantial change in a company's business prospects usually make its stock 'trending' and lead to an immediate price change, there are always some fundamental facts that eventually dominate the buy-and-hold decision-making.
Revisions to Earnings Estimates
Here at Zacks, we prioritize appraising the change in the projection of a company's future earnings over anything else. That's because we believe the present value of its future stream of earnings is what determines the fair value for its stock.
Our analysis is essentially based on how sell-side analysts covering the stock are revising their earnings estimates to take the latest business trends into account. When earnings estimates for a company go up, the fair value for its stock goes up as well. And when a stock's fair value is higher than its current market price, investors tend to buy the stock, resulting in its price moving upward. Because of this, empirical studies indicate a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and short-term stock price movements.
For the current quarter, Nokia is expected to post earnings of $0.10 per share, indicating a change of +11.1% from the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has changed -7.3% over the last 30 days.
For the current fiscal year, the consensus earnings estimate of $0.42 points to a change of -4.6% from the prior year. Over the last 30 days, this estimate has changed -0.4%.
For the next fiscal year, the consensus earnings estimate of $0.48 indicates a change of +13.5% from what Nokia is expected to report a year ago. Over the past month, the estimate has changed +2.1%.
Having a strong externally audited track record, our proprietary stock rating tool, the Zacks Rank, offers a more conclusive picture of a stock's price direction in the near term, since it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions. Due to the size of the recent change in the consensus estimate, along with three other factors related to earnings estimates, Nokia is rated Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
The chart below shows the evolution of the company's forward 12-month consensus EPS estimate:
12 Month EPS
Revenue Growth Forecast
While earnings growth is arguably the most superior indicator of a company's financial health, nothing happens as such if a business isn't able to grow its revenues. After all, it's nearly impossible for a company to increase its earnings for an extended period without increasing its revenues. So, it's important to know a company's potential revenue growth.
In the case of Nokia, the consensus sales estimate of $6.27 billion for the current quarter points to a year-over-year change of -1.5%. The $25.15 billion and $26.02 billion estimates for the current and next fiscal years indicate changes of -4.1% and +3.5%, respectively.
Last Reported Results and Surprise History
Nokia reported revenues of $6.26 billion in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of -2.2%. EPS of $0.11 for the same period compares with $0.11 a year ago.
Compared to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.07 billion, the reported revenues represent a surprise of +3.04%. The EPS surprise was +10%.
The company beat consensus EPS estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. The company topped consensus revenue estimates two times over this period.
Without considering a stock's valuation, no investment decision can be efficient. In predicting a stock's future price performance, it's crucial to determine whether its current price correctly reflects the intrinsic value of the underlying business and the company's growth prospects.
Comparing the current value of a company's valuation multiples, such as its price-to-earnings (P/E), price-to-sales (P/S), and price-to-cash flow (P/CF), to its own historical values helps ascertain whether its stock is fairly valued, overvalued, or undervalued, whereas comparing the company relative to its peers on these parameters gives a good sense of how reasonable its stock price is.
The Zacks Value Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which pays close attention to both traditional and unconventional valuation metrics to grade stocks from A to F (an An is better than a B; a B is better than a C; and so on), is pretty helpful in identifying whether a stock is overvalued, rightly valued, or temporarily undervalued.
Nokia is graded A on this front, indicating that it is trading at a discount to its peers. Click here to see the values of some of the valuation metrics that have driven this grade.
The facts discussed here and much other information on Zacks.com might help determine whether or not it's worthwhile paying attention to the market buzz about Nokia. However, its Zacks Rank #3 does suggest that it may perform in line with the broader market in the near term.
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Nokia Corporation (NOK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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