Nokia gets deeper into the enterprise with IoT launch for the biggest of businesses

Nokia has launched Wing, an IoT network grid as a service, for multinationals that need to track their assets across countries.
Written by Jo Best, Contributor
Image: iStock

Nokia is continuing its enterprise push with a product aimed at multinationals looking to set up their own Internet of Things implementations.

Known as 'Wing', the IoT network grid as-a service offering will let larger companies track objects or vehicles as they move from one country to another: Nokia, for example, expects Wing to be used by freight transport businesses that want to monitor cargoes internationally.

Wing will either be offered by Nokia's telco customers as a white label service, or sold directly by Nokia to larger multinationals.

As well as the connectivity needed to track companies' assets - such as satellite for connected freight while at sea, switching to mobile networks when it hits land - Wing will also provide the related IoT services such as device management, security, and analytics. It will also handle the provisioning of the eSIMs used by the connected objects, so customers will be able to use whichever mobile network is local to the country they're currently in.

The idea behind the service is to save the biggest companies from having to sign separate deals with carriers in each of the territories in which they operate. Wing gives "major multinationals to be able to offer IoT services, because there is no multinational connectivity service that enables them to do so. You can have an US solution, a partial European solution, a partial Asian solution.... no one has put that all together," Phil Twist, marketing VP at Nokia's Networks business, said.

Wing is underpinned by Nokia's IMPACT platform, launched last year, which handles elements of M2M from data collection and event processing to applications enablement.

Nokia expects Wing to start rolling out in the third quarter of this year, and is targeting the health, transport, and utilities industries.

Wing is the latest service launch intended to expand Nokia Networks' customer base beyond its traditional carrier heartland and into the enterprise. As well as beefing up its IoT portfolio with Wing and IMPACT, Nokia recently also debuted a new router aimed at utilities companies and is also stepping up its focus on the autonomous vehicle market, despite selling its HERE maps business, with a substantial transport customer base, to a consortium of car makers.

"At the start of [2016], Nokia was focused primarily on mobile networks. We ended the year as a company with a complete portfolio spanning mobile, fixed, routing, optical, stand-alone software and more; with solid opportunities to drive higher returns through expansion into new customer segments; with emerging businesses in digital health and digital media; and with greatly expanded patent and brand licensing activities," Nokia CEO Rajiv Suri said at the release of the company's latest set of quarterly results.

Sales for the Networks business were down 14 percent year on year, which the company ascribed to "challenging market conditions".

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