UK: BT chooses Nokia as supplier of 5G hardware – Siècle Digital

As the UK has resigned from banning Huawei from its 5G network, UK operators have no choice but to turn to other hardware vendors. BT unveiled its choice on Tuesday, September 29, 2020: the operator will turn to Nokia to equip its networks, reports the BBC.

Nokia secures its first UK 5G contract

It's official : Nokia has reached agreement to become the largest supplier of 5G equipment from UK operator BT. For example, the Finnish firm, which recently invested $ 230 million in HMD Global, will be in charge of supplying base stations and other network equipment that will allow the operator's customers to access very high-speed 5G internet. BT nevertheless specifies that Nokia will not replace all Huawei equipment, since contracts with other suppliers are also planned.

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The agreement between Nokia and BT also provides for the Finnish firm to replace Huawei on BT's 2G and 4G networks, when the operator’s 3G network is already supported by Nokia equipment. If at the time of writing the amount of the contract between the two companies has not been disclosed, Still, the news was enough for Nokia to gain 3.58% on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

In a press release, Philip Jansen, CEO of BT, said: "With this new step in our fruitful relationship with Nokia, we will continue to lead the deployment of fixed and mobile networks in order to deliver exceptional experiences to customers".

Huawei, victim of geopolitics

For Huawei, it's hard to blame it. The Chinese manufacturer was the big favorite of British operators to equip 5G networks, but American pressure finally got the better of him. However, the United Kingdom did try to resist: in January 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to give Huawei a limited role in the development of the 5G mobile network. In June, the country asked its telecom operators to stock up on the Chinese manufacturer's equipment.

Only a month later, the British authorities finally and definitively decided to reverse this decision to completely prohibit national operators from purchasing equipment from Huawei from January 2021. With regard to existing equipment, it must be withdrawn by 2027.

Nokia and Ericsson reacted to this announcement by recalling that they both had "The technology, experience and supply chain capacity to deal with this situation without disrupting customers". Obviously, the call of the Finnish firm found an attentive ear.

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