Nokia Fixed Broadband Update From Tokyo

We attended the Nokia Fixed Broadband group analyst meeting in Tokyo last week and found that the company’s portfolio is expanding rapidly.  The company’s view is that capital spending at its customers will be flat in future, and therefore the company is taking the approach to grow its portfolio beyond its core DSL and Optical core to potentially allow it grow revenues.  It has expanded its product line to include cable (from Gainspeed acquisition), more recently home WiFi (augmented through acquisitions) and is rolling out Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).  The company is also predicting that the Indian subcontinent and fixed network wholesaling will become significant opportunities for the Nokia Fixed Network group.

  • Cable.  Admits that it took a year longer for DAA to develop.  In deployment phase at WOW! And we get the sense that there are some significant wins that Nokia could announce in the future.  It claims to be the only vendor with DAA available today.
  • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).  The company is offering two versions of FWA: The company is offering two versions of FWA: (a) 3GPP radio access network based and (d) unlicensed WiGig (60 Ghz WiFi-based).  The company expects 5G-based solutions to hit the market in 2019.  The company’s first FWA customer is an enterprise, using WiGig.  But, the main focus is on large Service Providers.  The company is not focusing on Wireless ISPs (WISPs).
  • WiFi.  Nokia is making a push to enhance its Broadband CPE portfolio to include more advanced WiFi capabilities.  It is launching a “mesh” capability that will become popular across its broadband CPE product line.  Mesh is a very popular router category that has been propelling growth for vendors such as eero and Google.

Additionally, Nokia emphasized an enabling technology to allow fixed network wholesaling – slicing.  The company has begun discussing Altiplano, an SDAN (Software Defined Access Network) system.  This allows multiple service providers to share the same fiber and equipment installed base.  The company’s view is that just like mobile network tower sharing happened to reduce capital spending, the same will happen with Fixed Broadband networks – but this requires a virtualization technology such as SDAN.