Rounding off a great week when it bagged a massive extension with BT to supply technology for the EE next-generation network, Nokia has announced that it has signed 17 5G commercial deals in the third quarter of the year. This takes its total number of commercial 5G deals company to 100 individual customers and a total of 160 commercial 5G engagements, ranging from signed contracts to paid trials.
Out of the commercial 5G deals with contracted customers, 17 have been struck since the second quarter of the year. The 34 live 5G networks cover both public and private wireless networks, which are now operational, with 88% of commercial deals with operators, and 12% with enterprises.
The deals mean that Nokia is present in all 5G early-adopter markets, and now claims contracts with the top four US communications services providers (CSPs) and the top three in both Japan and Korea.
One of the key deals that it has struck was with BT in the UK. The telco has extended its long-term strategic relationship with Nokia, selecting it as a 5G radio access network (RAN) supplier for its EE network, providing RAN equipment and services at BT radio sites across the UK, helping to evolve BT’s RAN to 5G.
In doing so, it will become BT’s largest equipment provider. In the BT network, Nokia will supply its AirScale Single RAN (S-RAN) portfolio for both indoor and outdoor coverage, including 5G RAN, AirScale base stations and Nokia AirScale radio access products.
Nokia also revealed that its 5G portfolio is gaining traction among enterprises. It has made private wireless deployments with companies including Deutsche Bahn, Toyota Production Engineering and Sandvik. Nokia also boasts a 180-strong portfolio of private wireless customers, many of which it expects to migrate to 5G.
Commenting on the developments, Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia, said: “We are thrilled to have passed this 5G milestone. We know we still have work to do and that the market remains highly competitive. But we are moving fast – and these wins make it clear that our progress is being validated by customers. We deeply appreciate their ongoing support and are committed to delivering for them.”
Nokia said that among the key drivers for its increasing 5G momentum with CSPs and enterprises is 4G and 5G network slicing, which enables operators to deliver unique, isolated ‘slices’ of the end-to-end network to their customers, tailored to specific applications.
The firm has also just announced that it is the first communications supplier to offer extreme automation of 4G and 5G network slicing across all network domains, including RAN, transport and core. The company introduces new network management, controller and orchestration capabilities to its solution, enabling mobile operators to rapidly deliver and assure network slicing services within minutes instead of hours or days.
Finnish operator Telia is already using 4G/5G network slicing, working for end-to-end network slicing since 2019 with Nokia.
“Our customers require flexible, reliable and secure slicing services, available when and where needed,” said 5G programme director Janne Koistinen. “End-to-end network automation and assurance are critical for us to enable best performing slicing services with efficiency and high quality.”