Finnish vendor Nokia has announced the extension of what it called its ‘long-term strategic relationship with BT into the 5G arena’, confirming it has been selected as a 5G RAN vendor for the UK-based operator. In a press release Nokia noted that as part of the deal, which it claimed will make it BT’s largest equipment provider, it will provide gear and services at BT radio sites across the UK, helping to evolve the operator’s radio access network to 5G. BT’s Nokia-powered network, which is said to currently cover Greater London, the Midlands and rural locations, will reportedly be extended to cover multiple other towns and cities across the United Kingdom, with those locations named as: Aberdeen, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Carlisle, Cheltenham-Gloucester, Chesterfield, Dundee, Exeter, Grimsby, Hull, Ipswich, Lincoln, Newbury, Northampton, Norwich, Peterborough, Plymouth, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Swindon, Torbay and York.
Meanwhile, 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. Furthermore, under the terms of the deal Nokia will also optimise BT’s 2G and 4G networks and work alongside the carrier on the development of the OpenRAN ecosystem. As part of the telco’s network transformation, it will also utilise Nokia Software’s ng-SDM and NetAct network management platform, supporting the network evolution to 5G. The vendor, meanwhile, will also provide its Cell Site Gateway product providing key backhaul connectivity, while providing digital design and deployment for a faster time to market as well as optimisation and technical support services.