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Nokia uses forced acronym to help ‘verticals’ exploit wireless megatrends

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A new industry group has been created by Nokia Bell Labs with the aim of working out how certain industry verticals can get the most out of things like 5G and IoT.

The modern business consensus is that if a thing’s worth doing it’s worth creating an acronym for. But the traditional approach of just picking the first letter of each constituent word has long been abandoned in the name of creating acronyms you can actually pronounce. In keeping with this custom Bell Labs cleverly compressed WIreless for VErticals into WIVE.

There seems to be some Finnish public cash involved, in the form of the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes) and accordingly pretty much everyone else involved is of the Finnish persuasion. Other contributors include Teleste, Telia, ABB, Cargotec Kalmar, Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), Digita, regulator FICORA, and some Finnish academic institutions.

The point of this endeavour seems to be to help ‘verticals’, which for some reason has become the new word for what were previously ‘industries’, get their heads around emerging tech megatrends and, most importantly, use them to make money. As the acronym indicates, we’re talking wireless here, with a stated emphasis on 5G but with IoT lurking ominously in the background.

Perhaps Nokia is wary of the kind of buzzword fatigue its regular announcements contribute so generously towards. Showing an undiminished appetite for abbreviations (not, disappointingly, acronyms in this case) the announcement confides that mMTC (massive machine type connectivity – i.e. IoT) will be a focus of the group, as well as URLLC (ultra-reliable low latency communications). These are two of the three main pillars of 5G, the other being enhanced mobile broadband, or eMBB to its friends, which is likely the enabler of a third focus: content delivery.

“Industry collaboration is essential in fostering innovation around 5G, and for enabling different industries to take full advantage of the faster connections that 5G promises,” said Mikko Uusitalo, head of wireless advanced technologies research at Nokia and project coordinator. “Nokia Bell Labs has a strong focus on ultra-reliable, low latency communications targeting new wireless communication systems for verticals, and the WIVE project provides us with greater insight into the requirements and opportunities for experimentation to test our solutions,”

“Deep understanding of the needs of different verticals and the variety of 5G user contexts is in the core of our business,” said Janne Koistinen, director of the Telia 5G program in Finland. “We are looking at evolving media consumption patterns and developing revolutionary spectator experiences, for example at Telia 5G Arena in Helsinki and as part of our agreement for Finnish Ice Hockey League media rights. Machine-type connectivity and ultra-reliable communications are just as crucial for building smarter traffic, manufacturing solutions and other digitalization initiatives, which are topical for our B2B customers.”

The gig is set to run for a couple of years, at the end of which it’s unclear what the criteria will be for determining its success or otherwise, but acronyms will presumably play a major role. Other possible names for the project that were rejected for undisclosed reasons were: ‘advanced radio service enablement’, ‘future use case kaleidoscope’, and ‘wireless and new kind enhanced radio’.

In other Nokia news the company celebrated an apparent patent victory after arbitration of a dispute with LG Elecotrinics. It didn’t reveal how much cash is involved but inferred that its Q3 numbers would see the benefit of some ‘catch-up’ revenue and, of course, there would be a bit of recurring money too.

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