Saturday, April 04, 2020

Nokia chief aims to accelerate Thailand's 5G journey

Mar 26. 2020
David Oxford, Nokia Thailand's country director,  aims to accelerate Thailand's 5G journey.
David Oxford, Nokia Thailand's country director, aims to accelerate Thailand's 5G journey.
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By Sirivish Toomgum
THE NATION

The 5G wireless broadband technology will have a significant impact on the overall lifestyle of Thai citizens, as well as on enterprises in Thailand, said David Oxford, Nokia Thailand's country director.

"The impact will come in two waves. Firstly, enterprises, such as transportation, manufacturing, logistics, or even the government, will be able to provide much more efficient services with lower latencies and higher data speeds. These new services that enterprises look to serve their customers will increase the overall operational efficiency in Thailand.

"Secondly, consumers will experience greater data speeds, and gain access to a variety of services such as augmented reality, virtual reality and mobile gaming which will drive entirely new industries in Thailand," he added.

He said that 5G is more than just a new radio technology -- it’s an end-to-end transformation of the network.

The 5G ecosystem currently consists of various types of systems, not just radio access equipment. It ranges from Internet Protocol to software solutions. Nokia has a complete end-to-end portfolio which includes all these sub-systems, he added.

"With regards to 5G, the key for Nokia is to provide value for our customers as they roll out new services to enterprises and end-users. Our strategy is to focus on ensuring that we have a compelling set of solutions and features that allow our customers to be competitive as 5G comes alive here in Thailand.

"We are focused on new features including enhanced security, slicing, higher output power, and having frequencies available for the Thai market."

Nokia is also focusing heavily on the enterprise space where 5G can add significant value, especially in areas such as manufacturing, logistics and port management.

"We have a dedicated enterprise team developing use cases to address this particular space.

"We’re working with all the operators in Thailand on 5G at this time as they start their journey with 5G and look forward to working with them as they deploy networks throughout this year,".

Oxford said that the telecommunications space is competitive in Thailand, not only from an operators point of view, but also from a market perspective.

"This is a good thing for the operators, as it helps to drive down cost and to optimise the overall efficiency of the network. As a result, this also pushes vendors to provide the best value to our customers.

"At Nokia, we are focused on our ability to provide the best value for our customers as they look to roll out 5G networks."

He added that for over 20 years, Nokia has defined many of the fundamental technologies used in today’s mobile networks, in terms of developing standards, solutions, and ecosystems.

"We are a global market leader in network technology, and already have 69 commercial 5G agreements, including 20 that are in live commercial operation."

Nokia created a strong enterprise team a few years ago, as it knew that 5G would be heavily focused on enterprise.

"We are well aligned with the enterprise space and have teams specifically focused on developing enterprise use cases for a variety of different industries in Thailand.

"In Thailand, private LTE [long-term evolution] technology would be a key focus for us. We believe that for areas such as ports, manufacturing, and other enterprises in the Eastern Economic Corridor could take advantage of private LTE systems. Our private wireless solutions will help drive industrial digitalisation and automation, in line with the Thailand 4.0 initiative.

"Nokia is paving the way for Industry 4.0 initiatives globally, with over 120 private wireless networks across multiple industries and countries. We are working with enterprises in the energy, transportation, public sector, manufacturing, and logistics sectors as they look to deploy their Industry 4.0 initiatives."

When asked if it was challenging for him to work at this time of the Covid-19 outbreak here, he said, "The health and safety of our employees is always our top priority. As such, we are monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety of our employees. To date, we have taken a range of steps across countries to keep our employees safe."

"We are working with relevant authorities and government to follow the updated guidance in Thailand. We are also working with our customers to ensure that we can support them during this period so that they can continue offering much needed telecommunication services."

Regarding his management style, Oxford said that he focuses on collaboration and listening.

"I like to hear from different groups about a certain topic, situation or a certain deal we have to work with and make sure that I fully understand the available options so I can make an informed decision about how to move forward."

Oxford is not an unfamiliar with Thailand as he had lived here for eight years previously and had many chances to travel across the country.

"Unfortunately, since I moved back to Thailand and took up this job, I have been very busy and I haven’t had the chance to travel too much.

"Over the eight years that I lived here, I’ve been able to understand Thai culture and enjoy how courteous Thai people are. I love Thai food -- but am unable to eat spicy food! On weekends there’s always a chance to see and do things within Bangkok and even beyond the city."

In his leisure time, Oxford likes to go to the gym and work out to stay in shape.

"I really enjoy playing tennis when I have time. Beyond exercising, I do enjoy watching movies and travelling -- of course things I wouldn’t recommend that we do during the Covid-19 pandemic."

Biography

As country director of Thailand at Nokia, David Oxford oversees all the company’s business and operations in the nation.

Previously he was Nokia’s Customer Team Head in Indonesia and the Philippines. Before joining Nokia, he worked with General Electric in Thailand for nearly five years. During this period, he served as the company’s regional product leader for industrial telecommunications and before that, the business development manager for End-to-End Solutions.

Oxford began his career as a systems engineer with Motorola in the United States. He later took on several senior roles with the company across Asia.

Oxford graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington before obtaining an MBA in Telecommunications from the University of Dallas.

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