Nokia executives highlighted Canada as a key growth market for the company, with 5G deals in the country advancing a strategy to focus on a handful of key markets and regions.
Though the company lost out on major 5G contracts in China earlier this year, SVP of 5G and small cells Mark Atkinson explained in a briefing “by and large we are where we wanted to be” in terms of winning next-generation contracts and retaining global market share.
“We decided to have a strong focus on North America, on Japan and [South] Korea, and we’ve won everything there is to win.”
In Canada, Atkinson highlighted a recent deal with Bell Canada as one example of how the company is building on previous LTE contracts, adding it is also the sole provider for Shaw Communications’ Freedom Mobile network and sees plenty opportunties with other operators.
Mike Murphy, Nokia CTO, Americas, noted Canada is slightly behind the US in terms of 5G activity, but the lag is insignificant considering a limited number of compatible devices were available for earlier launches.
While authorities recently postponed a key mid-band auction in the country, Murphy noted availability of the spectrum will still roughly align with a US release.
The CTO said Canada is about two-to-three years behind the US on mmWave with auctions not expected until 2022, but said Canadian operators are not facing a dire capacity crunch necessitating it, or identified a “killer use case” requiring swift access to the ultra-fast speeds the spectrum offers.