Navigating Nokia’s Metamorphosis: Seizing Opportunities in the AI Era

During Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, big names from the IT&C industry, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Nvidia, Arm, Samsung, T-Mobile, and Nokia, joined forces to establish the AI-RAN Alliance, aiming to integrate AI into cellular technology, specifically focusing on radio access networks (RAN) to improve mobile networks further. Just a couple of weeks ago, Nokia announced its Generative AI-based assistant, Nokia MX Workmate, that integrates large language model (LLM) technology into operational technology (OT) environments. Its purpose is to facilitate seamless communication between workers and all connected machines in a natural language, and it is expected to be commercialized at the end of 2024. Nokia is taking increasingly determined steps into a more software approach, but let's put things in perspective.

Over its 150-year history, the Finnish company Nokia has weathered numerous storms and embraced various transformations. The company has consistently demonstrated adaptability and resilience, successfully reinventing itself to stay relevant in the ever-evolving technology landscape. In fact, it's during these challenging times that Nokia's strength and ability to bounce back have truly shone through.

In recent years, Nokia has strategically capitalized on significant opportunities brought by the tremendous need for digital transformation and enhanced communication across sectors. On one front, the telecommunications sector witnessed a surge in demand for cloud-based solutions and high-performance analytics. Simultaneously, industries such as manufacturing, energy, and transportation have increasingly embraced edge solutions, enhancing their competitive edge in the market. Nokia, equipped with a comprehensive suite of applications and solutions, has also fostered collaborations with major hyperscalers, underlining its offering of more cloud-based solutions.

PAC considers that AI innovation generators don't have to come only purely from the IT vendor landscape. The alliances recently announced, including the AI-RAN alliance, prove that cooperation involving distinct types of expertise (together with NGOs, universities, and other societal stakeholders) continues to be of value to ensure that the incorporation of AI into a range of technologies brings a sustainable and reliable development from a 360° perspective. Also, in PAC’s opinion, Nokia has embarked on this AI initiative at just the right time and has numerous monetisation opportunities over the coming years. However, it won’t be a straightforward journey as Nokia must contend with formidable competitors like Ericsson and Huawei, who continue to be both major players in this technology race.

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