Nokia Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri warned investors about "some near-term risk" that the Finnish tech giant expects will be generated by the fifth generation (5G) of mobile networks, i.e. the rapid advancements and deployment of related technologies. While speaking on a conference call hosted shortly after the company published its consolidated financial results for the second quarter of the year, Suri predicted that the next major iteration of wireless networks will be significantly closer to being commercialized on a global level over the course of 2018, adding how those developments won't necessarily be entirely positive for the telecommunications firm. While Nokia is largely expected to benefit from the emerging wireless technology, the fact that 5G developments are ramping up faster than it expected puts additional pressure on the company to conclude its related research and development efforts that are already on a tight schedule, Suri revealed.
In recent years, Nokia was predicting that 5G will take off in 2021 and later moved that prediction a year forward, stating that scientifically significant large-scale 5G trials are likely to become widespread come 2020. Suri now changed that forecast once again, noting how recent market indicators suggest that the wireless sector will already be deeply involved in the process of field-testing 5G technologies as early as next year. This turns of events mandates a change to Nokia's own 5G technology roadmap, its CEO said, adding that the tech giant's workload is now set to increase in the coming months in an effort to not fall behind the industry as a whole and be ready to serve all sizes of businesses as soon as 5G becomes the new standard in telecommunications. Nokia's Mobile Networks and R&D divisions will both be affected by this move, Suri revealed, without elaborating on the matter.
During the conference call, Nokia CEO also predicted that first significant deployments of 5G-ready infrastructure will be completed in the United States and China in 2019, noting how the Finnish company will do everything it can to keep up with the pace of related technological advancements. The firm's actual market position remains uncertain, with its Q2 2017 financials revealing stagnating sales that prompted some industry analysts to speculate that its telecommunications division is set to maintain that unimpressive performance for the time being, despite the company as a whole reducing its losses and recording a number of other positive results over the three-month period ending June 30.