Nokia signs $3.5 bn 5G network deal with T-Mobile

Nokia announced a $3.5 billion 5G equipment deal with T-Mobile for the deployment of a nationwide 5G network.
T-Mobile 5G network with Nokia and EricssonFinland-based Nokia will provide its 5G technology, software and services, assisting the Un-carrier to bring its 5G network to market for customers.

Telecom equipment maker such as Ericsson, Samsung, Huawei and ZTE are also looking for similar 5G deals with US telecom operators.

Neville Ray, chief technology officer at T-Mobile, said: “Every dollar we spend is a 5G dollar, and our agreement with Nokia underscores the kind of investment we’re making to bring customers a mobile, nationwide 5G network.”

Nokia will help build T-Mobile’s 5G network with 600 MHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave 5G capabilities compliant with 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standards.

“Nokia and T-Mobile will advance the large-scale deployment of 5G services throughout the United States,” said Ashish Chowdhary, chief customer operations officer of Nokia.

Nokia’s end-to-end 5G technology, software and services portfolio, include commercial AirScale radio platforms and cloud-native core, AirFrame hardware, CloudBand software, SON and 5G Acceleration Services.

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile and Japan’s SoftBank-promoted Sprint are currently waiting for approval from FCC and other authorities to club their business in the US.

“The new T-Mobile even as a strong number two player more on par with Verizon and AT&T will remain disruptive and go after growth with its 5G smartphone positioning using low and mid-band spectrum,” Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director at Strategy Analytics, said.

The new company would be better positioned for a convergence play, growth in automotive and other high mobility/broad coverage 5G use cases, with new strength in wholesale and enterprise and positioning for Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) with 5G network slicing,”

Analyst firm Strategy Analytics earlier forecasts that the merged T-Mobile-Sprint operations will have outperformed the individual operations by almost 1 percentage point market share of gross additions, 0.5 p.p. subscription market share, and 0.4 p.p. revenue market share by 2023.

Phil Kendall, executive director at Strategy Analytics, earlier said the 5G deployment and adoption will be the main merger benefit for US consumers, though everything comes at a cost.

The report said operators in three-player markets enjoy EBITDA margins 3-4 percentage points higher than those in four-player markets so a merger on this scale may weaken price competition and increase operator profits.