The Finnish company said on Tuesday that Nokia has reached an agreement with the UK’s largest mobile operator BT to provide 5G radio equipment, which is one of the first major victories that the new CEO Pekka Lundmark has taken over.
This transaction will make Nokia BT the largest equipment provider, just a few months after the UK announced that it would ban China’s Huawei from entering the next-generation 5G telecommunications network.
The size of the contract was not disclosed.
According to sources, Nokia has won 63% of the BT contract, or about 11,600 broadcast stations.
Nokia currently powers the BT network in Greater London, Central and rural areas, but the new contract will add multiple towns in the UK.
Philip Jansen, CEO of BT Group, said that the agreement will allow it to continue to deploy fixed and mobile networks, and digital connectivity is critical to the UK’s economic future.
According to the current ban, British operators will not be able to purchase 5G components from Huawei from the end of this year and must remove all existing Huawei equipment from the 5G network before 2027. This provides opportunities for Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson.
According to data from Moody’s, Nokia’s share of the global radio access network (RAN) market in 2019 was 21%, compared with 29% for Ericsson and 31% for Huawei.
Although Nokia has won contracts with global operators, it suffered a setback earlier this month when Nokia lost to Samsung for its contract to supply new 5G equipment to Verizon.
Under the new management of Nokia, Lundmark took over the top position last month, and telecommunications veteran Sari Baldauf became chairman in May.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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