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Aji Ed, CTO Middle East and Africa, Nokia, attended the 13th edition of Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit. Aji Ed participated in a panel titled: ‘The Year of 5G Deployments’, aimed at analyzing new use cases, traffic growth and lessons learned from initial deployments. Telecom Review managed to speak with Nokia’s CTO following the discussion.

Nokia combines an extending portfolio with technologies and industry leadership that are helping operators launch 5G commercial offers. Nokia's 5G technology is present in all regions in the world, and confirmed 42 commercial 5G deals in 2019. Aji Ed believes this is as a result of the end-to-end services that Nokia offers to its customers.

He said, “Of course, Nokia has been on a fantastic journey in 2019. One of the key points that differentiate Nokia from other vendors is the uniqueness in terms of the end-to-end product portfolio. We start with the fibre networks, ReefShark chipset, radio access networks, FP4- based chipsets in the optics and in the IP. This a completely end-to-end network that we are really proud of.”

Openness to innovation has fueled deployment of 5G in the Middle East, as well as digitization. However, there are many challenges facing the acceleration of digital transformation in the ME and across the globe. The CTO believes that 5G use cases need time to develop. The ability to monetize many use cases at scale in the near term remains unclear.

“There are a couple of challenges that we should mention. In terms of use cases, these are related to mobile broadband and fixed wireless access. We have plenty of use cases in the pipeline, but at the same time, these are not mature yet. I think it’s a matter of time before this happens. When it does happen, we will start to see a return of investment, especially from a telcos perspective.”

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