Nokia appointed Bernard Najm as SVP, Mobile Networks, Nokia Middle East and Africa (MEA) at the beginning of 2021.
He has been with Nokia for about 25 years serving Europe and MEA in various senior management positions.
Under the new structure, various functions have been consolidated to provide a stronger, more coherent, and accountable organization to drive greater value for customers in a changing world.
“We are fully committed to delivering critical networks with superior quality to the MEA market and enable a more productive, sustainable, and inclusive world based on our continuous innovation,” says Najm.
“My role is to drive all pre-sales and post-sales activities to address our customers’ mobile network requirements. It is critical that we capture the needs of Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and enterprises in MEA, and make sure that they are adequately addressed by our Nokia solutions and services, in time, ahead of the competition.”
Ultra-low latency, massive connectivity, and extreme capacity are the characteristics that are expected from the networks of today in any part of the world.
This requires 5G networks that are highly versatile, able to change their architecture to support a vast range of services.
“Today´s investments must also assure that the radio network is future-proof, ready for the future demands, however, and whenever they arrive. The surge of traffic we saw in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic is a good example of such unexpected demand,” he adds.
“Our Nokia AirScale Radio Access addresses all this and more by running all technologies in the same radio access, offering huge capacity scaling and market-leading latency and connectivity. AirScale Radio Access is an industry-first commercial comprehensive 5G solution enabling operators to capitalise early on 5G through which we offer a modular approach to building networks that deliver the extreme capacity, massive connectivity, and ultra-low latency required for 5G services,” says Najm.
“It supports all radio access technologies including 4.9G, which provides future service continuity with 5G networks. It also includes our commercially available AirScale Cloud RAN solution, which enables you to reap the benefits of moving to the cloud one of the key priorities going forward.”
MEA is a remarkably diverse region, with some countries like South Africa are at the forefront of 5G adoption while others are preparing for it.
“While there are many live 5G networks and aggressive rollout plans across the region, it is very important to provide competitive solutions for coverage and network slicing, and leverage the mmWave spectrum along with a high level of services to all the 5G frontrunners. At the same time, there are many countries in the region where 2G, 3G and/or LTE are the key technologies. Many of our customers there are investing now in LTE and LTE advanced technologies. As a leader in LTE network performance globally, according to independent third-party research like that of Ookla and RootMetrics, Nokia remains committed to helping our customers in the Middle East and Africa build their networks and future proof their investments, by providing them with our comprehensive portfolio,” Najm reiterates.
Reliable networks are essential to enable everyone to connect at work and home especially during this kind of global pandemic.
Another important area when it comes to mobile networks is open standards. As 5G continues to be rolled out, the industry has begun to explore the potential benefits of an expanded ecosystem of mobile access players in the market.
“CSPs, vendors, and even governments are working together to define the role of open standards, and how they can help evolve 5G networks to support new services as well as enhanced efficiency. Open Radio Access Network (RAN) sits at the heart of this discussion,” says Najm.
“We at Nokia are proud to have a unique approach to openness and have chosen to join the Open RAN Policy Coalition. The industry stakeholders including CSPs are creating a path for the adoption of Open RAN. That is why we are working with CSPs to contribute to standard definitions, including Open RAN interfaces, and define an adoption plan.”