NSN eyes Asia's mobile broadband momentum

Nokia Siemens Networks will leverage the region's diversity, with differing strategies for developed markets with strong LTE adoption, and emerging markets still rolling out 2G and 3G technologies.

NSN will leverage the region's diversity and strong growth of mobile broadband, with differing strategies for developing and emerging markets.

SINGAPORE--Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is hoping to ride on the strong growth of mobile broadband in Asia-Pacific, in line with its overall mobile broadband focus.

According to Paul Tyler, senior vice president of Asia-Pacific at the company, Asia is a "critical" market for NSN's mobile broadband strategy, which it unveiled in November 2011.

Within the region, mobile Internet is pervasive with a diversity of operator types, technologies and markets, he explained in an interview here Thursday.

For example, in April this year, the company said it planned to double the size of its research and development (R&D) facility in the Philippines, as it looks to tap the rising global demand from telcos to have better 3G and 4G mobile networks .

"Mobile broadband has always been the core of NSN's DNA and we have a very strong mobile broadband portfolio," Tyler said. "The focus allows us to deliver the best technology and user experience of anyone in the industry."

The strategy is part of NSN's Technology Vision 2020 unveiled earlier this month, where it expects mobile networks will have to brace for a future of users each consuming 1GB of mobile data per day.

On the business end, NSN faces an uphill task of reviving its earnings with global Q1 2013 net sales down 7.5 percent year-on-year, partly offset by a brightspot of higher net sales in mobile broadband. The year-on-year increase in mobile broadband was due to higher LTE net sales partially offset by lower GSM, WCDMA, Voice and IP transformation net sales. This follows its announcement last August to lay off another 300 employees, as part of the equipment maker's plan to cut 17,000 employees globally by the end of 2013 .

Different strategies for diverse Asian region

Due to the region's diversity, the company has different plans for both the developed and developing markets, Tyler noted.

For the more developed markets such as South Korea, Australia and Singapore, LTE adoption is very high so technology will be the company's focus, he explained. These markets will be served with advanced new technology such as 4G which can deal with the higher capacity withiin the markets, he added.

South Korea in particular, is the most technologically advanced markets in the world, and drive technological innovation in NSN's products and services which, in turn can help the company be ahead of the game in other advanced markets such as the U.S., Tyler pointed out.

At the other end are the emerging markets such as Bangladesh, Thailand and Myanmar where mobile is starting to kick off and 2G and 3G are just starting to be rolled out, he noted. 

Indonesia, for example, is a country where the need to product leading edge technology is high, but at cost points which makes sense as their average revenue per user (ARPU) is very low, which will help NSN be more competitive in other low cost markets such as Africa, he said.

Moving forward, the company has to balance working to LTE in mature markets while delivering GSM upgrades in emerging markets, he added.