Optimistic start to 2020 for Nokia with 63 commercial 5G deals
2020 will be a big year for Nokia, perhaps seeing it sink or swim in the 5G race.
Last year, Nokia made a shift from the expensive field-programmable gate array (FPGA) integrated circuits to cheaper system on chip (SoC) circuits – a necessary financial move, but one which leaves them lagging behind rivals Qualcomm.
Nonetheless, the company is now boasting of 63 commercial 5G deals – 15 more than they had in October last year.
These deals have been struck with a range of international businesses, including 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; Du in the UAE; and STC and Zain in Saudi Arabia.
This total also reportedly excludes any other non-commercial 5G-related agreements, such as pilots and trials. Nokia says that if these agreements were added, the total would be over 100.
“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,” said Nokia’s president of mobile networks, Tommi Uitto.
“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.”
Despite a shaky end to 2019, Nokia does appear to be holding its own against its rivals; 63 deals would put Nokia somewhere between Ericsson, which has previously reported 78 commercial agreements, and Huawei, which said it had signed 50 in September. The ongoing geopolitical standoff between the US and China is likely to have played a role in boosting Nokia’s prospects for 2020.
Also in the news: