Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri has said in an interview that he expects India to be one of the first countries to see 5G rollouts as the “explosion of data is massive” in the market.
Suri noted that the phenomenal demand meant that “by 2020, significant 5G roll outs could begin in India, making it one of the few countries to go 5G. The first phase of 5G (for Nokia) will be consumer driven and then it will be industrial driven.”
“India may well become the top country in terms of mobile data consumption per user per month, resulting in a need for a lot of network capacity…Now, the move to 5G will have to happen at a more accelerated pace. 2018 will be a year of more stability even though there is a shake-up”, he added.
He noted that India “should auction 5G spectrum at some point in the right band and have enough per operator”. With regard to the ‘right band’, he suggested “the 3.5GHz band…the millimetre band and maybe some low band spectrum over time”.
Suri noted that the spate of consolidation currently underway in India was “a necessary thing”, adding “it is good for the long-term health of the market”.
He also touched on the ongoing tax dispute between Nokia and the government of India, saying “clearly, we will be able to find a solution to the tax situation between the two governments, Finland and India…We hope to make some announcements during the first quarter results.”