Nokia signed an agreement with French mobile operator IIiad Group to roll out 5G networks across France and Italy, the Finnish vendor said in a release.

The 5G deal will focus on network modernization and 5G introduction in France and 5G introduction in Italy, making 5G available to 17 million subscribers in both European markets.

Nokia said it has worked closely with IIiad Group in France since 2012, and in Italy since 2018, on the rollout of both 3G and 4G networks.

Under the new partnership, Iliad Group will install Nokia’s newest radio access technology, AirScale, allowing it to capitalize on early 5G networks and support 4G/LTE and 5G in the same radio access system. The vendor also noted that the installation of 5G massive multiple-input multiple-output antennas will ensure Iliad subscribers can take advantage of the ultra-low latency and high-bandwidth capabilities of 5G.

“We want to offer our customers the best possible 5G experience and that is why we have chosen to strengthen and accelerate our relationship with Nokia as we enter the 5G era,” said Thomas Reynaud, IIiad Group’s CEO. “Nokia’s innovative 5G technologies and solutions will enable us to launch quickly and efficiently, delivering a superior network performance whilst also securing us against future challenges.”

“We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with IIiad to roll out 5G networks across France and Italy and build out a world-class network for businesses and consumers alike. The radio technologies will give Iliad the flexibility to quickly and smoothly launch a future-proof 5G network,” said Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia.

Nokia reached a total of 63 commercial 5G contracts worldwide as of mid-January. The company said that some of the customers include AT&T, KDDI, Korea Telecom, LG Uplus, NTT DoCoMo, O2, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Sprint, STC, T-Mobile US, Verizon, Vodafone Italy and Zain Saudi Arabia.

Nokia highlighted that these 5G commercial contracts exclude any other type of 5G agreements, such as paid network trials, pilots or demonstrations. Including these agreements, the total number of 5G agreements would reach over 100.

Nokia also claimed to be the only vendor with a globally available end-to-end product portfolio that covers all 5G network elements, including radio, core, cloud and transport as well as management, automation and security. Approximately 60% of Nokia’s 5G customers select more than just New Radio from its end-to-end portfolio, the vendor said.


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