Comms tech giant Nokia has announced that it has struck 63 contracts for its 5G technology, illustrating the momentum it has achieved in the sector.
Nokia claims to be the only supplier with a globally available end-to-end product portfolio that covers all 5G network elements, including radio, core, cloud and transport, as well as management, automation and security.
The 63 commercial worldwide 5G contracts are with customers including AT&T, KDDI, Korea Telecom, LG Uplus, NTT DOCOMO, O2, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Sprint, STC, T-Mobile US, Verizon, Vodafone Italy and Zain Saudi from key 5G early adopter and progressive markets.
The company’s technology now sees use in early adopter 5G markets from: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US and Verizon in the US; Korea Telecom, LG Uplus and SK Telecom in South Korea; NTT DOCOMO, KDDI and SoftBank in Japan; Vodafone in Italy; O2 in the UK; Optus and Vodafone Hutchison (VHA) in Australia; Elisa and Telia in Finland and Du in the UAE; and STC and Zain in Saudi Arabia.
In its latest development, and after a four-year trial that will end with commercial launch in the first half of 2020, Nokia technology will be used by VHA in the roll-out of the operator’s 5G network in Australia.
The 63 contracts over 18 live networks exclude any other type of 5G agreements, such as paid network trials, pilots or demonstrations. If such agreements were included, the company says the total number of 5G agreements would exceed 100.
Commenting on the spike in interest, Nokia pointed to what it said was its continued leadership in 5G cellular technology R&D and standardisation. “This milestone highlights the quality and customer confidence in our 5G portfolio and we expect this to continue this year with the addition of many more new deals,” said Tommi Uitto, the company’s president of mobile networks.
“Our global end-to-end portfolio includes products and services for every part of a network, which are helping network operators to enable key 5G capabilities, such as network slicing, distributed cloud and the industrial internet of things,” he said. “We are delighted that our technologies are helping to shape the delivery and deployment of 5G technologies worldwide and the myriad benefits these will bring to businesses and consumers alike.
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“These first 63 [5G] customers represent some two-thirds of our global radio access networks business in a typical year. Nokia offers operators and enterprise customers a simple and efficient step-wise upgrade to existing radio access, core and transport domains, which helps customers to a faster path to 5G.”
The company said about 60% of its 5G customers select more than just New Radio from its end-to-end portfolio. Nokia also declared more than 2,000 5G patent families as essential for 5G, a year after making its first declarations for the standard. It is now contributing towards the next set of 3GPP 5G standards – Release 16.