Nokia has 120 private wireless customers

(Image credit: Nokia)

Nokia now has 120 private wireless network customers, reflecting its growing interest in the enterprise market.

Private wireless networks, powered by either 4G or 5G technology, provide reliable, high speed and secure mobile coverage across an industrial site such as a factory or port.

Nokia’s customers are said to be spread across multiple countries and industries, including transportation, utilities, manufacturing, logistics and the public sector. The company itself has deployed 5G at its mobile network equipment factory in Finland.

Nokia private wireless

ABI Research believes the market will be worth as much as $16 billion by 2025, strengthened by the adoption of Industry 4.0 applications that include massive numbers of connected devices. Although LTE is the predominant technology in use, the greater capacity of 5G is expected to increase demand.

Nokia says its end-to-end 5G portfolio means it is well placed to capture a significant portion of this market, while it has reached partnerships with major operators and IT vendors. This includes former mobile partner Microsoft.

The two companies will combine their IT and telecoms technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities through Azure into joint-products targeting Industry 4.0 customers.

“Enterprise customers who invest in Industry 4.0 today will gain a clear competitive advantage over those who choose to wait,” said Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise. “With spectrum and new technologies that have become available, customers can deploy industrial-grade wireless connectivity to capture the transformational benefits of digitalization and industrial automation.”

However Nokia’s immediate focus is on suppling mobile operators with kit for their 5G rollouts. However the high cost of developing 5G technology and intense competition in the sector has caused the company to cut its financial outlooks and pausing dividends.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.