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Nokia Siemens Networks stresses scale is key to survival

30 октября 2008

Nokia Siemens Networks is setting its sights firmly on the number one position in the global radio access networks market and has stressed that scale will be key for any company to compete successfully in this market.

"We identified that radio was going to be a size play," said Marc Rouanne, who has been head of the radio access business at NSN since March after previously heading up the Convergence Business Group of Alcatel-Lucent. Rouanne added that not too many vendors would be of a size to compete successfully on a global scale.

Now that is has emerged from its first difficult merger phase, NSN is firmly setting out its RAN stall.
The Helsinki-based equipment manufacturer has recently reported what it believes are important proof points in its bid to topple current leader Ericsson from the number one RAN position.

"We say we are number one in 3G," said Rouanne, noting that NSN has the largest number of WCDMA/HSPA references at 130 worldwide.

The company has also thrown down the LTE gauntlet by becoming the first equipment manufacturer to announce shipments of LTE equipment globally.
Rouanne said the LTE-compatible Flexi Multimode Base Station hardware will be available for customer trials by the end of this year.

Rouanne said 2009 will be the year of LTE trials and pre-commercial networks; he thinks there will be commercial services from 2010.

The Flexi base station includes LTE, WCDMA and WiMAX modules that can be deployed at will by the operator.

Rouanne added that for NSN, mobile WiMAX "is a flavour of a global radio story. Our strategy is not to be a standalone WiMAX player".

NSN believes there are four main drivers of the LTE market that are all moving at a similar pace: the DoCoMo market in Japan; the Chinese market, where some operators may go for LTE sooner in order to be able to compete on mobile broadband; Europe, where operators are seeing strong uptake on their HSPA networks; and "US-like" markets, meaning operators such as Verizon that are moving from CDMA-based networks to LTE.

Rouanne commented that it's still too early to say what impact the global financial situation will have on these different drivers, although he said more guidance would be given by Nokia on this situation at its capital markets day in December.

Nevertheless, as things stand NSN expects to see four- to five-fold increases per year in mobile data traffic on existing HSPA networks in the coming years; such increases in traffic would drive the need for increased network capacity as well as improved IP-based transport capabilities, said Rouanne.

It's also not clear how individual operators will tackle their upgrade requirements, and how they will decide to use their existing spectrum resources. Rouanne added that a key part of NSN's business is now to provide consultancy services for operators as they decide how they will move forward.

He commented that in the early stages it's possible there will be more deployments of LTE and WiMAX in TDD or unpaired spectrum, while LTE FDD in paired spectrum would be part of a longer evolution. Operators may well also decide to include femtocells in the mix.

What is clear is that operators want to be able to evolve their networks on a flexible basis that will future-proof their capital investment. Rouanne said that having an installed base and the related know-how has again become very important, particularly when it comes to issues such as refarming spectrum that has been used for 2G services.

Источник: Total Telecom

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