During Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022, Kamal Mokrani, global vice president, Infinet Wireless, spoke to Telecom Review about the company’s contribution to the digital and wireless world and what can customers continuously expect from them in the years to come.
Can you share your outlook on digital transformation in today's interconnected world and how Infinet Wireless solutions contribute to this journey?
From our point of view, the digital world has been around for many years. It is not a new concept for us. But of course, now it's being adopted by mainstream players in the industry. And the way we approach the digital world, so to speak, is by doing everything we can via designing software-defined radios. By software, we effectively avoid changes to the hardware part. We can do the changes in the software, allowing us to provide connectivity to new applications and new services that will come out in the future.
FWA is thriving in the 5G era. What is Infinet's role in this as you have a solid foundation in carrier-grade fixed wireless installations?
From day one, fixed broadband wireless access has been at the core of everything we do. We are seeing today the adoption, particularly in 5G, which I personally believe we are ideally positioned for over a number of years. We are providing a lot of our solutions to the 5G players, mainly in the backhauling area of their networks. We are taking a big part in the backbone side of things as well. So 5G, whether it's adopted by mobile operators or fixed operators, is again becoming a very big part of our business and daily lives.
How will Infinet's growth in 2022 be influenced by key trends in the Industry 4.0 era?
Let’s say there's some uncertainty because we just came out from the pandemic and the world is going back to normal. Despite that, I believe that the trend of remote working and learning will continue to exist for quite a while, which is music to our ears because we can again provide the extra connectivity needed in the years 2020 and 2021.
We will continue providing that connectivity, and in parallel to that, we are developing completely new and revolutionary technologies to cater for the future. Our slogan is that the future is wireless. We truly believe in that and so everything we do is to provide solutions that add yet more features and certain benefits for our customers that will base their own operations on wireless technologies.
MWC 2022’s theme is ‘connectivity unleashed,’ how can this be translated from the mission being executed by Infinet?
We exist to provide connectivity. For us, it has been unleashed in 1993 when we set up the company. Yet, with the huge growth in connectivity and the traditional solutions like fiber optics and even satellites to some extent, these simply cannot cope with the demand. The pandemic had been bad for people around the world, but for us, as a business, it has actually allowed us to grow much faster than we had anticipated because of the need to provide connectivity as soon as possible, on a large scale — as opposed to just a few connections from here and there.
A great example of this is that in Mexico in 2020, when the pandemic started, we truly unleashed the connectivity to the education sector where we connected, in roughly three or four months, 4,000 schools to allow the delivery of remote learning. We worked with a number of companies to provide content and established infrastructure in which connectivity was unleashed in a super big way, and we continue doing that today.
Being in the industry for long, what more can your customers expect from Infinet in 2022 and the coming years?
The key thing in what we do, as work in the wireless world, is spectrum. The frequency bands are a scarce resource. A lot of frequencies are being reallocated to other technologies like 5G. With the emergence of 5G, there isn't enough spectrum. Hence, a lot of frequency bands traditionally available for other applications have been refarmed.
We are always conscious that if a customer or an operator buys our products, we are only part of the big puzzle — they have to pay for spectrum. So what we do, apart from developing products, is we make sure that our products allow them to squeeze more data, more megabits per second, in an even smaller channel. So if they buy 20 megahertz ofchannel, we want to give them as much as possible for that acquired channel. Our R&D team is always busy pushing physics to its limit, providing our customers more capacity in even less channel size than they traditionally have used in the past.