Tuesday, 31 July 2018 07:43

T-Mobile, Nokia sign US$3.5b deal, biggest 5G contract to date

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T-Mobile, Nokia sign US$3.5b deal, biggest 5G contract to date Courtesy: T-Mobile

T-Mobile, the third mobile network in the US, has signed what is the world's biggest 5G deal to date, a US$3.5 billion deal for Finnish firm Nokia to supply it with 5G network equipment.

A statement from T-Mobile said Nokia would provide it with end-to-end 5G technology, assisting it to bring its nationwide 5G network to market for customers.

In April, T-Mobile agreed to a merger with Sprint. Verizon and AT&T are the first and second mobile networks in the US, in terms of customer numbers.

“We are all in on 5G,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer at T-Mobile. “Every dollar we spend is a 5G dollar, and our agreement with Nokia underscores the kind of investment we’re making to bring customers a mobile, nationwide 5G network. And together with Sprint, we’ll be able to do So. Much. More.”

Under the deal, Nokia will help to build T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network with 600 MHz and 28 GHz millimetre wave 5G capabilities compliant with 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standards.

"Nokia and T-Mobile will advance the large-scale deployment of 5G services throughout the US,” said Ashish Chowdhary, chief customer operations officer, Nokia.

“This is a testament to our companies’ strong and productive working relationship, one which has produced several important technological milestones in recent months, and which now allows us to make 5G a commercial reality.”

T-Mobile said 5G promised to enable faster speeds, massive connectivity, decade-long battery life for sensors and super-responsive and reliable networks for customers.

This was expected to unleash on-demand virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, driverless vehicles, medical monitoring, advanced industrial automation services, and so much more – all requiring ubiquitous low latency connectivity.

It said T-Mobile would leverage multiple products across Nokia’s end-to-end 5G technology, software and services portfolio, including commercial AirScale radio platforms and cloud-native core, AirFrame hardware, CloudBand software, SON and 5G Acceleration Services.

The two companies aim to use 5G to develop, test and launch the next generation of connectivity services, covering a wide range of industries, including enterprise, smart cities, utilities, transportation, health, manufacturing, retail, agriculture and government agencies.

There are three other companies, apart from Nokia, that have the resources and technical nous to build 5G networks: Sweden's Ericsson, and China's ZTE and Huawei. The latter two companies are banned from supplying telecommunications equipment in the US.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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