Is Nokia about to re-enter the smartphone market?
In 2014 Nokia sold its smartphone division to Microsoft for a staggering $9.5 billion. Microsoft’s aim was to acquire a fully-functional smartphone manufacturing division to promote adoption of a Windows Phone, which would use both the Nokia and Microsoft brands.
Earlier this month, Microsoft slashed 7,800 former Nokia jobs, a restructuring that will mean a one-time $7.6 billion write down for Microsoft. And now, Nokia has confirmed rumors that it intends to re-enter the smartphone market; albeit with a new partner licensing devices rather than manufacturing them in-house.
As Nokia spokesperson Robert Morlino explained in a blog post, Nokia intends to return to the mobile arena by licensing their brand to other designers and producers. “The right path back to mobile phones for Nokia is through a brand-licensing model. That means identifying a partner that can be responsible for all of the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for a product.”
Nokia is aware that it is unable to return in the same capacity it once had to manufacture devices without its “manufacturing, marketing, and channel distribution capabilities,” but that they still hold themselves to be a good designer with a good brand. Nokia would still design the products and earn the royalties, but everything else would be up to whomever they partner with.
The move makes sense in a lot of ways. Established manufacturers are struggling to compete with industry giants Apple and Samsung; Microsoft is already pretty much out of the market, and HTC is coming close; their global market share is estimated to be only 2 percent in spite of their status as one of the top three players in North America. If HTC’s established presence and brand isn’t enough to pull them out of the fire, Nokia certainly won’t be recouping the massive investment required to start manufacturing smartphones again – but they still want a piece of that pie, and they don’t want people forgetting Nokia’s history in the mobile device industry.
That being said, Nokia has no plans to return to the mobile market before Q4 2016. By then, the landscape will likely have changed significantly.
Nokia fans may not exactly have reason to rejoice at this point, but this is certainly still good news in a market becoming starved for competition.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.