Nokia reported growth in enterprise market and now tallies 290 private wireless customers

Before 5G was even commercially available and certainly before “private networks” and “Industry 4.0” were broadly in the lexicon, Nokia was clear it would sell what would become private 5G in partnership with carriers and directly to enterprise end users. As the space has emerged as the likely long-term revenue driver and value creator associated with 5G, Nokia now says it counts more than 290 private wireless customers, according to CEO Pekka Lundmark, speaking this week on a first quarter earnings call.

Indeed, he called out private wireless for the enterprise segment as major growth opportunity and said Nokia saw an 18% increase in net sales year-on-year. “The enterprise growth was driven by securing 63 new customers in Q1, more than double the number we secured in Q1 last year. Approximately half of these customers bought our private wireless solutions.”

Lundmark also mentioned webscale as a growth opportunity. In March this year the Finnish firm announced partnerships with Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft Azure that all speak to the role of distributed cloud in delivering 5G solutions into enterprise verticals.

Out of 5G, enterprises are looking to use connectivity, compute and data derived from IoT sensors to automate processes, save money and improve outcomes. As far as how hyperscalers fit in, it’s about flexible compute that can handle high capacity, real-time data flows joined with 5G in an IT-like manner that’s familiar to the CIO’s office.

Nokia’s CEO also chimed in the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor components, noting it hasn’t hit them yet but the issue “will deserve continuous attention. The guys in this business have done a great job in supply chain management and also, also getting prepared for the upcoming component shortage. We are working hard with our suppliers.”

Click here to access Nokia’s Q1 financial information.

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