By Arjay L. Balinbin

NOKIA on Tuesday said it is currently in talks with “two to three” firms in the country to provide fifth-generation (5G) technology solutions for their operations.

In a media briefing in Makati City on Tuesday, Nokia Philippines Country Head Andrew Cope said the company is currently in talks to partner with “two to three” Philippine firms from “big industries” on 5G technology.

“Some will be rolled out next year. How big and how far, I really cannot comment. It might be very small, it might be significant,” he said.

Mr. Cope said the company is looking at companies from several industries, such as “mining, ports, anything that requires personal or public safety, automation industries, and factories.”

He said the Philippines could be a major market for 5G as “it is like a gateway to the rest of the world.”

“What works here moves to Thailand, moves to India, and moves to Bangladesh,” he explained.

In his presentation, Kai Sahala, head of Nokia 5G sales for Asia Pacific and Japan, said the 5G technology is seen to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economic growth in the next 15 years. For the Asia and the Pacific region alone, he said 5G will contribute $890 million.

Mr. Cope stressed that Nokia has a “strong commitment” to deliver next generation communication technology to the “leading operators” in the Philippines.

He said Nokia, which currently has a team of 1,100, has previously partnered with Smart Communications, Inc. and the Philippine Red Cross to apply innovative technology for its disaster relief efforts.

Nokia, Mr. Cope added, has also partnered with Globe Telecom, Inc. to bring cloud-native business services to the country.

He said Nokia’s vision this time is develop 5G end-to-end infrastructure to “support economic growth, and improve lives.”

Nokia also aims to build enterprise-use cases to digitalize industries, he added.