Nokia Replaces Huawei in BT 5G Deal to Become Biggest Infrastructure Provider

Nokia Replaces Huawei in BT 5G Deal to Become Biggest Infrastructure Provider

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Nokia Replaces Huawei in BT 5G Deal to Become Biggest Infrastructure Provider
Photo: Depositphotos

After the UK’s ban of Huawei equipment from its 5G network rollout, Nokia has replaced the Chinese firm on the BT 5G network project.

Finnish multinational telecommunications company Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) has entered an agreement with BT Group (LON: BT.A) to become the largest equipment provider on BT’s 5G project. The new deal happened after the UK government announced plans to ban Huawei equipment on the 5G project. Now, the agreement replaces Huawei with Nokia in infrastructure shares for BT’s 2G and 4G networks.

In July, the UK government revealed plans to ban Huawei from its 5G network rollout. The UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added that by December, mobile network operators would be forced to stop patronizing Huawei. As stated by Dowden, the ban is necessary for the economy and also for national security.

Nokia Replaces Huawei in 5G Deal with BT

As Nokia replaces Huawei on the BT 5G network, the Finnish company will provide the needed 5G equipment to all BT radio sites in the UK. Before now, BT revealed that a third of its site used Nokia equipment while others used Huawei’s. Nokia’s present service is limited to EE customers in the Midlands and other rural locations.

However, BT will now use Nokia’s telecoms infrastructure in more cities and towns, including Aberdeen, Cambridge, Dundee, Southampton, Exeter, and York. This equals two-thirds of BT’s radio sites.

Furthermore, the deal said Nokia and BT would jointly develop an “OpenRan ecosystem.”

Commenting on the new deal, the CEO of BT Group, Philip Jansen said:

“In a fast-moving and competitive market, it’s critical we make the right technology choices.”

According to CNBC, sources said that Nokia would cover 63% of the entire BT network. Also, CNBC reported details of the deal. Nokia’s AirScale Single Ran (S-RAN) equipment will be used for indoor and outdoor coverage.

Assuring customers of providing excellent services, Jansen also said:

“With this next stage of our successful relationship with Nokia, we will continue to lead the rollout of fixed and mobile networks to deliver stand-out experiences for customers.”

BT Plans Before the Deal

A telecoms analyst at IDC, John Delany, commented on the replacement. Delany said Nokia replacing Huawei in the deal was an inevitable move. He added that since BT did not plan to make Nokia the primary equipment provider for the project, a second vendor might be considered.

A BBC report revealed that Ericsson was previously contacted to replace Huawei and become BT’s supporting vendor on the 5G project. The report further suggested that Ericsson will likely be the supporting vendor.

British telecommunications company BT Group’s stock has been declining. BT lost 44.47% in the last one year and over 48% in 2020. Also, the company’s stock dropped 12.78% in the last three months and nearly 1% over the past month. In addition to recent losses, BT.A reduced by 3.84% in the last five days.

Also, Nokia’s stock plunged over the last twelve months. NOK fell by over 18% in a year and nearly 9% over the last three months. In addition, the Finnish company lost 15.12% over the past month. However, the company jumped 8.22% in 2020 and nearly 1% in the last 5 days.

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