Finland offers to support India on 5G, 6G network deployments

Finland on Wednesday offered India, a support in fifth generation (5G) and sixth generation (6G) network planning and rollout as the country is inching closer to the commercial launch of next generation telecom services.

“Our companies can provide 5G and 6G network planning. Communication is a very important sector and Finland can make significant contributions,” Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Finland to India said.

The comments from a high-ranking official of Northern Europe’s Nordic country have come following the completion of 5G spectrum auction process fetching Rs 150,173 crores across multiple frequency bands.

The telecom carriers are expected to roll out 5G networks starting August this year, and the Centre has also allowed to set up captive or non-public networks.

“India is one of the significant markets for Nokia. 120 Finnish companies are active in India currently,” she said, adding that Finland considers India as a key partner for economy and trade.

The official was speaking at an event organised by Ekaga Futuristics together with Business Finland.

There are close to 120 Finnish companies that are operationally active in India currently with Nokia as one of the largest telecom gear makers that has invested more than Rs 4,200 crore so far in the country.

The Finnish company operates an R&D facility in Bengaluru, and also produces 5G radio equipment out of its Chennai manufacturing unit.

“India has a scale and we have know-how. We see great potential in Indian companies. India will be the primary area in Asia for Finland,” Ritva added.

Several Indian companies invested in Finland with a collective spend of nearly $1 billion. These include Tata Consultancy Sevices (TCS), Wipro, and Tech Mahindra. The Anand Mahindra-headed company also operates an innovation centre in Finland.

Jukka Holappa, country director at Business Finland said that exhibition promotion is one of their main focus areas, and innovation-driven funding makes the campaign unique.

“The best system integrators come from India, and they are our top target,” Holappa said, adding that the Finnish government focuses on innovation, funding, trade, travel, and investment opportunities.

Finland has close to 10 universities and institutions that are currently undertaking research in 5G, and developing new solutions for the next generation ecosystem.

Business Finland, an autonomous agency of the Finnish government, helps Indian system integrators to partner with Finnish companies and research groups.

Arun Dagar, executive director at Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) said that digital transformation is touching everybody’s lives. “Digital services should reach consumers especially in areas such as healthcare and education.”

Further, Dagar said that foreign-origin companies entering into India should first understand the market and consumer behaviour.

Executives from telcos said the three private-sector carriers can launch 5G services in some circles by early October, given that the government has assured to allot airwaves by the middle of August. Operators are expected to start with cities where they have already carried out network tests and trials.

“Technology is continuously evolving. Industry 4.0 is a most overused word for the last few years but has become a reality now,” Visnish Bawa, Head – Enterprise & Emerging Business at Nokia India said.

“Smaller companies and even startups are even faster in adopting IT technologies. Companies coming to India should go for partnerships,” Bawa added.

Private networks, according to him, can be one of the use cases of digital transformation of enterprises.