Nokia wins 5G deal with BT after Huawei bans UK networks

Nokia’s new President and CEO Pekka Lundmark (C) shakes hands with resigned President and CEO Rajiv Suri after a press conference on March 2, 2020 at Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland.

Markku Ulander | Lehtikuwa | AFP by Getty Images

LONDON – Nokia announced on Tuesday that it has signed a major deal for 5G devices with BT, the largest telecom group in Britain.

The announcement comes after the UK said in July that it would ban Huawei devices from its 5G network rollout, indicating that the rest of Huawei’s infrastructure is replacing Nokia BT’s 5G network.

“In a fast-paced and competitive market, it’s critical that we make the right technology choices,” Philip Jensen, CEO of BT Group, said in a statement.

Under the deal, Nokia will provide 5G equipment and services on BT radio sites in the UK

In particular, BT will use Nokia’s AirScale Single Ran (S-RN) devices to provide indoor and outdoor coverage to its customers. Those tools include base stations and radio access products.

The Finnish telecom company said it would become BT’s largest infrastructure partner as a result of the deal, industry sources told CNBC it would account for 63% of BT’s entire network. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nokia is currently strengthening BT’s network in London, the English Midlands and some rural areas – but that footprint is now set to expand.

“Our two companies have collaborated for more than a quarter of a century to bring the people of the United Kingdom into the best category,” Nokia President and CEO Pecca Lundmark said in a statement.

He added: “We are proud to support BT’s 5G Network Evolution and look forward to working more closely in the years to come.”

In July, UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said mobile network operators in the country would be forced to stop buying equipment from Huawei by the end of the year. They also need to strip Huawei Gear from their infrastructure by 2027.

It’s a major turning point for the UK, which in January gave Huawei access to the country’s next pay generation mobile network. Under the previous guidelines, mobile network tors operators were required to reduce the share of Huawei Kit in non-core parts of their infrastructure to 35% by 2023.

A Huawei spokesperson said: “We accept fair competition because it brings innovation to the customer and the more diversified the supply chain, the more competitive it becomes. UK networks face reliance on just two vendors for 5G from 2027.” 5G Roll – Essential for network security and minimizing supply diversification. “

In this article CNBC. No Ryan Brown contributed.