Orange has chosen Nokia for the deployment of 5G in Belgium and Luxembourg. The information was confirmed on Friday October 9 by the French telecoms operator. Orange's Belgian subsidiary was under strong political pressure to turn away from Huawei in favor of Nokia because of suspicion of links between the Chinese equipment manufacturer and Chinese intelligence services, according to Reuters sources familiar with the matter.
A decision based on "technological" criteria, assures Orange
"Nokia was selected after an in-depth comparative process, based on technological, operational and financial criteria," said Orange in a press release. The Finnish brand will also help Orange to gradually renew its existing mobile network in Belgium. Its existing 2G / 3G / 4G radio network must be fully upgraded by 2023.
Initially, the existing Orange Belgium core network (supplied by Ericsson) will be connected to the 5G radio network to operate in NSA mode (not stand-alone). The operator will also prepare "the future evolution of its core network" to take charge of 5G SA (stand-alone) to offer "all 5G functionalities". A subsidiary of Orange Belgium, Orange Luxembourg has also chosen Nokia to deploy its 5G network.
Proximus also chooses Nokia
Majority-owned by the Belgian State, the telecoms operator Proximus is also turning to Nokia to renew its mobile radio access network (Radio Access Network). "This new generation equipment will allow Proximus to consolidate its position as the undisputed leader in the field of mobile networks in Belgium, and to build the 5G network of the future", explains the company.
Orange Belgium and Proximus, which have forged partnerships with Huawei to deploy their mobile telephone networks, signed an agreement in 2019 to share these networks. Launched six months ago in Belgium, 5G is available in 62 cities and towns, mainly in Flanders.
With Reuters (Jean-Philippe Lefief, Mathieu Rosemain; French version Henri-Pierre André)