Nokia's Australia reconnect begins in 2015

Emerging from the sell-off of its consumer business, Nokia Network's new Australia and New Zealand managing director Ray Owen is planning to reconnect with the Australian market.

Virtualisation, the Internet of Things, and public safety of mobile networks will be the key focuses for Nokia Networks in Australia in 2015.

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(Image: Nokia)
Nokia's business to business division emerged out of the sell-off of the company's devices and services business to Microsoft earlier this year, while looking to capitalise on the growth of mobile networks worldwide, and the ever-increasing consumer demand for mobile data.

In November, the company's CEO Rajeev Suri detailed the company's focus for its three divisions for networks, mapping, and technology research and development, with networks leading the way.

In Australia, that focus will be led by incoming ANZ managing director Ray Owen, who starts the role in January, after heading up sales development for the company in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We've been through a fairly big renewal phase in the past three years, [and] we're really feeling very bullish about coming to ANZ and bringing some of what we're focusing on into the ANZ region and hopefully growing over the next few years," he told ZDNet.

"We're very pleased to have been through that restructuring, and I think we've come out of it lean, mean, and keen."

Over the past few years, Australia's three mobile network operators have relied on Nokia's competitors such as Huawei, Ericsson, and Alcatel-Lucent for their network gear, particularly as Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone have rolled out 4G networks across the country. Owen said that Nokia would be targeting the three major telcos for virtualisation, to allow mobile networks to be flexible and meet the changing demand of customers in certain locations.

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"We need to do this as an industry. We need to support 1GB per day for each of our customers, and we need to do that affordably," he said, adding that virtualisation would be in place before the rise of 5G.

"Virtualisation is here and now, and will be fully embedded in these operators by the time 5G gets around to commercial deployment," he said.

While Nokia does service other businesses in Australia, Owen admitted that the company's main focus would be on the three major telcos.

"Our main customers are obviously Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. We do other pieces of business, obviously we provide a government radio network in Victoria for Public Transport Victoria. There are other customers there," he said.

The company would also focus on the increasing demand for connected devices in the Internet of Things, and reducing the cost for those devices to be connected to networks. He said that the expansion of public safety networks would also be something that Nokia would be targeting in Australia.

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