Nokia expands Ligado collaboration into 4G/LTE, private 5G and furthers Baltics 5G RAN

Comms tech provider to target enterprise customers with digital automation cloud private networks solution and Ligado’s 3GPP Band 24 nationwide licensed spectrum and will supply 5G RAN technology to Tele2 in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Nokia has announced two contract wins involving its 5G technology portfolio, striking an enterprise private networks market 5G partnership with mobile communications company Ligado Networks and extending its partnership with operator Tele2 in a long-term deal to deploy 5G RAN in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The commercial agreement with Ligado will see the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) enterprise private wireless networks system used with Ligado’s Band 24 nationwide licensed spectrum for deployment in the US market. The mid-band spectrum is licensed for terrestrial deployment nationwide and is supported by a growing roster of network infrastructure, including Nokia 4G/LTE and 5G base station equipment. The private wireless connectivity makes use of both unlicensed and licensed spectrum to deliver required bandwidth, network availability and security.

Ligado and Nokia expect to begin market engagement with enterprise customers in early 2022 and Ligado will support Nokia DAC deployments with commercial availability by the end of 2022 of its L-Band FDD spectrum platform to feed the demand for efficient coverage and high bandwidth in mobile private networks. It also anticipates developing additional capabilities with the TDD 1670-1675MHz band.

“We are excited about partnering with Nokia to support 4G and 5G enterprise private networks utilising Ligado’s spectrum,” said Ligado chief strategy officer Scott Wiener. “US companies, particularly those operating critical infrastructure and systems, are increasingly implementing mobile private networks to assure reliability and security in their business operations.

“To serve this rapidly expanding market need, Ligado is advancing commercial efforts to deploy its 35MHz of spectrum with market leaders like Nokia, including 3GPP standardisation and ecosystem development of the company’s 1670-1675MHz band.”

Meanwhile, in the Baltics, Nokia’s expanded deal with Tele2 marks 25 years of continuous cooperation between the two firms in the region, in which time Nokia has partnered with Tele2 on 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G network deployments. The new deal is designed to enable Tele2 to deliver connectivity and capacity benefits at ultra-low latencies to its customers and reduce complexity. Nokia is the incumbent and sole supplier in the deal.

Nokia will provide equipment from its latest ReefShark System on chip-powered AirScale equipment portfolio to modernise Tele2’s nationwide radio network. The roll-out will begin once Tele2 has acquired sufficient spectrum, with auctions for both low- and high-band frequencies happening over the next year. Tele2 has previously acquired 5G spectrum in the 3.5GHz band and the 700MHz spectrum in Latvia.

Nokia’s AirScale RAN portfolio is designed for “plug-in” deployment and reduced power consumption. It covers all deployment scenarios, including dense-urban environments and wide-area coverage.

Tele2 Baltics CEO Petras Masiulis said: “We now have a strong and reliable partner for our complete 5G roll-out in the Baltics and together we will provide a major upgrade to the connectivity in each country, providing our customers with better speeds, reliability and coverage. Nokia has been a great partner to us throughout previous generations of mobile technology and we look forward to continuing this partnership as we deploy the next generation of infrastructure in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”

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