5G to the fore in five-year Ooredoo-Nokia strategic agreement

Multi-country strategic deal sees Nokia supply telco with technologies including 5G, RAN, Core, Optics, IP and microwave across Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia

Qatar-based telco Ooredoo Group has engaged Nokia to provide multiple technologies and services, including 5G, as part of a multi-country, five-year deal. The network technology upgrade project is already under way and is expected to be completed by 2026 for customers in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.

Ooredoo is an international communications company serving consumers and businesses in 10 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia – Qatar, Indonesia, Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Tunisia, Myanmar and the Maldives. The company, which spent much of 2020 developing 5G systems, is initially applying 5G in existing frequency bands, beginning with Qatar, where the firm is rushing to develop a next-gen infrastructure ahead of major events such as the 2022 Football World Cup.

Under the terms of the deal, which builds on an existing relationship, Nokia will deploy equipment from its AirScale radio access network (RAN) portfolio on sites across North Africa and Southeast Asia. The AirScale radio platform will provide the flexibility and capability required to deliver 5G services to consumers and enterprises across different spectrum bands. The deal also includes digital deployment services supporting a faster time to market as well as technical support services.

Nokia’s microwave transport supports 5G microwave growth and new spectrum such as E-band, which is likely to be employed for state-of-the-art applications and new services such as a telemedicine and real-time virtual reality, where communities and businesses can rely on privacy, security and near-instant response times.

Nokia will also provide its cloud-native Core software to give Ooredoo what it claims will be zero-touch automation capabilities that drive greater scale and reliability. Supported by Nokia Cloud Packet Core, Voice Core, Registers, Policy Controller, Signalling and Cloud Platform, Ooredoo will be able to introduce network slicing to launch and grow new services spanning healthcare, smart cities, banking, transportation and public safety more rapidly.

In the fixed comms arena, Nokia’s optical solutions will support the network expansion and applications flow for Ooredoo’s state-of-the-art optical network. This provides increased network flexibility and operational automation through zero-touch transparent photonic networking.

“This renewed contract is testimony to our growing partnership with Nokia to modernise and expand our network by rolling out world-class 4G and 5G services across North Africa and Southeast Asia,” said Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, managing director of the Ooredoo Group. “Thanks to Nokia’s advanced technology, our customers will be able to experience faster speeds and enhanced response times, as well as more bandwidth.”

Pekka Lundmark, president and chief executive officer at Nokia, added: “We are excited to continue delivering robust networks to Ooredoo’s customers. This new five-year deal will enable businesses to digitise and innovate with new services. The move to 5G will drive radical transformation across industries, communities and public services and we are proud to continue supporting Ooredoo Group on this journey.”

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