The advent of next-generation technologies like 5G, AI and IoT will open up a plethora of opportunities across enterprise verticals. Nokia’s Global Delivery Centre (GDC) in India is gearing up to leverage the opportunities arising from the evolving technology landscape. In an interview with, Amit Dhingra, vice president and head of Global Service Delivery, Nokia, talks about GDC’s focus areas and plans…

What are the key trends shaping the telecom industry in India?

With the high penetration of mobile connections in India, the focus is more on robustness of services and monetisation through adjunct services like advertisements, e-commerce and entertainment. Also, there is an increasing trend towards mobile live streaming and broadcasting, which needs wireless connections to be fast, reliable and secure. All of this is driving the telecom industry to reinvent its services through digital transformation and AI, and embrace 5G. Once 5G is here, it will positively impact other sectors such as entertainment, education and health as well, as  many new use cases open up for consumers and enterprises, including security, surveillance and smart appliances.

How is Nokia’s GDC enabling digitalisation and improving the user experience?

With 5G massive MIMO, the coverage radius will shrink, networks will become more complex and data will increase exponentially. Nokia’s GDC in India is using disruptive ways to change the way networks are planned, deployed and operated. 5G’s low latency has the potential to enable new revenue streams with multiple enterprises in India, while 5G beam forming and slicing will be able to provide a tailored experience per service segment. To handle these opportunities and the associated challenges, our GDC is helping customers through digital design, digital deployment, and digital operations and maintenance. With machine learning (ML) and AI, we are transforming terabytes of data into real-time insights for ensuring an exceptional customer experience.

How has the involvement of automation and analytics for service delivery evolved over time?

In the 5G era, the complexity will increase further with network slicing and the traditional ways of handling complexity will not be enough. Initially, the focus of the industry was on foundational automation such as script-based robotic process automation (RPA) and Nokia was the first to bring RPA to the telecom domain, for monitoring, resolution, software upgrades, etc. Over a period, a lot of innovation has happened to make analytics drive automation and focus on pre-emptive actions based on predictions. Nokia’s Global Service Delivery has been pioneering in this domain and we have had multiples of next generation capabilities based on ML and AI, such as automated log analysis, cell site degradation predictions and similar ticket recognition. As we are moving towards 5G, a high level of digitalisation, automation and analytics is needed for dynamic resource planning and to meet the desired performance levels. At Nokia, we have taken a tremendous leap to move towards secure, automated and data-driven service delivery, through our differentiating digital network architecture.

What role is Nokia’s GDC playing in supporting the 5G ecosystem in India and globally?

The Nokia GDC in India has been supporting telcos in more than 100 countries, at various stages of the network life cycle. While India is preparing for embracing 5G, the team in GDC India has already developed capabilities around 5G. More than 1,100 of the GDC India workforce is trained in 5G technology. It is significant to note that of all the 5G networks under deployment/operations globally, more than 10 are already being supported by our GDC in India and this will soon double up in a few months. In GDC, we also have a live 5G test Radio, which is being leveraged while supporting live 5G networks in North America.

What are the key future trends in your view?

First, on the operators’ side, we will see a greater push for digitalisation and for getting rid of legacy limitations so that 5G launch happens at the earliest, there is better return on investment and a seamless 5G service experience for end-users. With our Digital Network Architecture, we have already started addressing this with steps such as using ultra-modular architecture, making access possible through APIs, leveraging AR/VR, AI, drones, crowdsourcing and analytics-based digital support using Bell Labs algorithms. Second, we believe that digital transformation and 5G will enable various use-cases for Industry 4.0. We see this also as an opportunity and so, at GDC, we are strengthening our team of experts to design and deploy solutions like IoT, private LTE, multi-access edge computing and integrated operations centre for enterprise and smart city customers. Similarly, we are building more capabilities to perform systems integration for telecom in the field of high-speed metros, railways, and oil and gas. Through Nokia WING (Worldwide IoT Network Grid), a managed service, we are already offering operators the ability to support their enterprise customers with global IoT connectivity across borders and technologies. We also see data privacy and security becoming more challenging and crucial as networks become more complex.