Nokia has extended its long-term strategic relationship with BT into the 5G arena, following its selection as a 5G RAN (radio access network) vendor for the UK operator. The agreement will make Nokia the largest equipment provider to BT. Nokia will provide equipment and services at BT radio sites across the UK, to evolve the radio access network to 5G and maintain the network.
The network using Nokia technology, which currently includes Greater London, the Midlands and rural locations, will be extended to also cover multiple other towns and cities across the United Kingdom. This enhanced Nokia footprint will support BT’s commitments to the UK government around the use of High Risk Vendors (HRVs) in UK network infrastructure, a reference to the Huawei ban on purchases from 31st December and phase out of all Huawei equipment from the UK by 2027.
Nokia will supply its AirScale Single RAN (S-RAN) portfolio for both indoor and outdoor coverage, including 5G RAN, AirScale base stations and Nokia AirScale radio access products. These systems will enable BT to build on its existing network leadership in the UK to deliver connectivity and capacity benefits to consumers at ultra-low latencies as well as reducing complexity and increasing cost efficiencies. The deal will also see Nokia optimize BT’s 2G and 4G networks and work alongside BT on the development of the OpenRAN ecosystem.
An end-to-end 5G system enabling operators to capitalize early on 5G, Nokia AirScale Radio Access run all technologies in the same RAN, offering huge capacity scaling and leading latency and connectivity. It is able to place any radio at any location with any capacity while delivering high-performance in the cloud and at the edge.