BT has selected Nokia as a 5G RAN vendor, making Nokia the largest telecom network supplier to the UK telecom operator.
Nokia, which competes with Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson and Samsung, will provide equipment and services at BT radio sites across the UK, helping to evolve BT’s radio access network to 5G and supporting its goal of maintaining the UK’s best network.
Nokia has won 63 percent of the BT contract, or about 11,600 radio sites, Reuters reported.
Nokia had a 21 percent share of the global radio access network (RAN) market in 2019, versus 29 percent for Ericsson and Huawei’s 31 percent, according to data from Moody’s.
Nokia suffered a setback this month when it lost out to Samsung Electronics on a part of a contract to supply new 5G equipment to Verizon.
BT’s Nokia-powered network, which currently includes Greater London, the Midlands and rural locations, will be extended to cover multiple other towns and cities across the United Kingdom.
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.
The deal will also see Nokia optimize BT’s 2G and 4G networks and work alongside BT on the development of the OpenRAN ecosystem.
As part of BT’s network transformation, the operator will also utilize Nokia Software’s ng-SDM and NetAct network management platform, supporting the network evolution to 5G, Nokia said.
Nokia will also provide digital design and deployment for a faster time to market as well as optimization and technical support services.
Philip Jansen, CEO of BT Group, said: “BT is making game-changing investments in full fibre and 5G.”
Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO of Nokia, said: “BT has extended its partnership with Nokia on 5G RAN, making Nokia BT’s largest infrastructure partner.”