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The fine line between today and tomorrow will define success – Nokia

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How obsessed with tomorrow are you? Have you forgotten about the challenges of today?

Speaking at Broadband World Forum Nokia’s Frederico Guillen questioned whether the entire industry is effectively walking the fine line between today and tomorrow. But what are the consequences? Like the trapeze artist who hasn’t mastered the art of the highline the result could be disastrous.

But that is the world we live in today. The millennials were born into a world of connectivity but unfortunately the demanding nature of customers is not limited to them. Even those who are pre-internet are now expecting the same standards as the millennials; the days of patience are gone and the price of making people wait is a lost customer.

Nokia 2This is the overriding challenge for all those involved in the delivery of customer expectations according to Guillen; how do plan for tomorrow but ensure you remain in business today? From a more technical perspective, how do you meet the extreme capacity demands of future technology while also meeting the coverage demands of today?

So what is the challenge the industry is facing? Today, 7% have access to broadband speeds of 10mpbs and 47% of the world’s households are offline. The vast majority of governments around the world are targeting 100mbps by 2020. Universal broadband is what everyone wants, and it does sound like a fantastic idea, but the gulf between tomorrow and today is significant.

And that’s not even the finish line – that’s only the rest-stop to rehydrate – the finish line is 100gbps. Now the gulf starts looking like an ocean, and as large as the temptation is to focus on this monumental target, Guillen stressed the importance of today. Future targets will demand a lot of attention and resource, but if you forget about today’s demand for universal coverage, you will not be operating tomorrow. Those pesky customers just won’t let the industry focus on the big picture, how selfish.

But it also raises a more political point. Government targets are set to democratize the internet. Connectivity for all is a phrase touted by many, and now is the time to deliver on the promises. Walking the fine line between today’s and tomorrow’s challenges also addresses the challenge of internet for everyone. As a responsible business, the small man cannot be forgotten, and don’t you forget it.

So how to fix the unfixable problem? Fibre, fibre, fibre. It’s the way forward despite the cost. “The world is going wireless, but wireless is going fixed,” said Guillen. And if you can’t deliver fibre to the home, what are you doing to make sure the internet delivery is meeting the demands of the customer today while also planning for tomorrow.

“We need to build networks which are capable of taking on the capacity challenges of tomorrow, the gigabit future, but also the coverage demands of today,” said Guillen. Not asking for much then.

You can watch live video streaming of Broadband World Forum here

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