At Murray Hill, Nokia promotes 5G under the seal of the “Bell Labs” – Les Échos


Posted Feb 17 2020 at 8:00 amUpdated Feb 17. 2020 at 8:59 am

On a box, the articulated arm of a robot deposits a phantom piece, remotely guided by orders from a 4G telecom network. The demonstrator activates the 5G network: the arm stops an instant earlier than before, avoiding crossing the line which could endanger the operator.

In Murray Hill (New Jersey), an hour's drive from New York, the “Future X Lab” serves as a showcase to show industrialists and operators the “use cases” of a technology now at the heart of technological battle between the United States and China.

Reduce latency

If the phone manufacturers are starting to offer a few models adapted to 5G that could appeal to consumers by reducing download times, shortening latency times and improving the reliability of the information transmitted are the selling points to conquer businesses.

“4G was made for consumers, but 5G will be able to be used by smart cities, manufacturers, ports and logistics”, list Mike Murphy, the boss of technology in the North America zone.

Mythical crucible of innovation

The “Lab” is a prestigious showcase for American customers, while Nokia, refocused on telecoms infrastructures, realizes 30% of its worldwide turnover in North America (like Ericsson), that is to say nearly 7 billion dollars: the Bell Labs and Murray Hill are one of the
mythical crucibles of global innovation.

By acquiring Alcatel-Lucent in 2015, the American part of which (Lucent) had been detached from AT&T in 1996, Nokia took over its researchers and its patent portfolio. From the transistor to the first Telstar 1 telecommunications satellite, the “Bell Labs” have developed a myriad of inventions for 95 years, a few historical examples of which are now shown in display cases.

"Governance" and "openness"

Nokia, which signed a contract for 5G with 66 telecom operators in the world (without specifying the associated turnover) including three of the four American, does not comment on the suspicions of "Backdoor" Washington accuses Huawei. But he defends his " reputation " and his " governance ", its security labels and promotes "Openness" and alliances with software players towards network virtualization.

While the American Minister of Justice William Barr spoke of
in recent days the idea of ​​a takeover

   of Nokia and Ericsson, the president of Bell Labs and director of technology of Nokia emphasizes above all the needs of R & D. "We are under price pressure and it is sometimes difficult to find funds for research", note
Marcus Weldon

   . “In the context of 6G (the standard that will follow 5G), funds are set up in Europe or in China. It would be nice to also have them in the United States. "

While Ericsson must open
this year a factory in Texas

    to produce mobile phone antennas for 5G, Donald Trump would likely look at Finnish's industrial footprint. Nokia, which says it employs 11,000 people in the United States, including more than 1,500 in Murray Hill, does not detail the weight of the United States in its production but its large factories are elsewhere, in Finland, Brazil, China and India.


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