Bangalore, December 7 2015: One of the world's oldest tech companies, Nokia has impacted an amazing diversity industry segments since 1871 -- from toilet paper to television; mobile phones to telecom back end systems. Having divested its handset business to Microsoft last year and on the cusp of sealing the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, the Finnish company is homing on to a future role focussed on communication, broadband, and the Internet of Things.
In Bangalore recently, Nokia opened the doors of its global R&D centre to showcase its proud record of innovation spread across 30 futuristic technologies.
Here are the highlights
Operators world-over are interested in reducing the cost-of-ownership and exploiting the benefits of cloud technology by moving telecom functions to the cloud. Nokia has been in the forefront of adopting the cloud technology with many of the core network, subscriber data management, and IMS (IP Multimedia subsystems) functions already supported for cloud deployment on general purpose processors. Nokia showed some of these demonstrations in its Innovation day booths. In addition, there is an evolving trend towards moving even base station functionality to the cloud. There are significant challenges in doing this given that there are real-time constraints. Thus this aspect is still in research phase. The progress made on moving the base station functionality to the cloud was shown at the demonstrations.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics\
An important technology trend is the emergence of internet of things, where we expect billions of small low-cost devices and sensors to be connected to the internet. A number of new use cases and applications are expected to be enabled using this technology, including applications, such as smart cities, smart metering, eHealth, sensor networks, and industrial automation. These devices need to be low-cost and should have a long battery-life so that they need not be charged for several years. New technologies are being developed to meet these requirements using both current 4G and future 5G air interfaces. Technologies like data analytics and prediction methods to estimate end-user experience based on key network performance metrics, to predict when problems may occur in operators’ networks, and when problems do occur, to identify the root cause of these problems were also showcased.
The growth of data traffic, both due to larger number of subscribers and increased data usage per subscriber, implies that there is always a constant need for new spectrum and to do more with the same amount of spectrum. Nokia has been working on a number of features to achieve a 1000x capacity improvement using LTE technology. This 1000x capacity improvement is achieved using 10 times more spectrum, 10 times more base stations, and 10 times more spectral efficiency. Nokia also showcased how unlicensed spectrum can be used by LTE to increase spectrum causing only as much interference as WiFi.Nokia’s small cell solutions that help with the densification of base stations were also demonstrated. And finally, multi-cell coordination techniques and liquid applications (mobile edge computing) and how they can do more with the same amount of spectrum by improving spectral efficiency and cell-edge performance were shown in the demonstrations. The demos also threw light on how these features help improve the performance of video streaming by appropriately providing the right amount of bandwidth for video traffic. The features that improve cell-edge performance by doing coordination across multiple cells was also showcased.
Bangalore is Nokia's innovation hub with over 2500 engineers, making it the company's largest such facility. In 2013 alone, some 131 invention disclosures, flowed from Bangalore. The focus here has been on mobile broadband. At the Innovation expo last month technologies displayed included 5G, massive MIMO architectures, aswell as Nokia's initiatives for India's Smart City programme.
Since June 2015, Nokia's Bangalore Innovation Centre is headed by Rupa Santosh.. See our news story here