Nokia secures new 5G contract in Taiwan

Nokia announced a new 5G contract with Taiwan Star Telecom (TST) to support the construction of the latter’s 5G non-standalone (NSA) network, the vendor said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, Nokia supply the Taiwanese carrier with its end-to-end AirScale Radio Access network portfolio. Nokia said that this deployment will pave the way for a future 5G standalone (SA) network launch. Nokia is the only supplier in this deal.

Nokia has already reached a total of 70 commercial 5G contracts worldwide. 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 previously installed Taiwan Star Telecom’s LTE network, which will now be migrated to 5G services utilizing Nokia’s AirScale BTS and AirScale Radio Access solutions.

The Finnish vendor also said that its AirScale massive MIMO solution will also be supplied, under the deal.

Cliff Lai, President of Taiwan Star, said: “We are proud to continue working with Nokia who will support us and help us to realize our ambition and deliver 5G services to our subscribers country-wide.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone with our long-standing partner Taiwan Star, demonstrating its confidence in our global end-to-end portfolio. I look forward to working closely with Taiwan Star Telecom to help upgrade its network and deliver incredible 5G experiences to its subscribers across the country.”

The carrier recently secured 40 MHz of bandwidth and is already underway with the initial phase of network deployment. Early deployment will see 126 commercial districts and retail zones covered which is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020 with 80 percent of metropolitan areas covered by 2023.

In March, rival operator Chunghwa Telecom had selected Nokia and Ericsson as 5G RAN vendors. The telco plans to launch commercial 5G service in July based on the non-standalone (NSA) architecture.

Chunghwa Telecom will run the next-generation mobile service on the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands.

Nokia said that it has been selected to leverage Chunghwa Telecom’s existing LTE install base and spectrum resources to launch 5G non-standalone (NSA) involving multiple bands, paving the way for the launch of 5G via a standalone architecture in the near future.

Meanwhile, Ericsson had said that Chunghwa Telecom will use the vendor’s Radio System base stations and Ericsson’s 5G Core, including its 5G Evolved Packet Core. Ericsson will also provide the fronthaul and IP backhaul transport solution using Fronthaul 6000 and Router 6000 products to support C-RAN architecture.

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) previously confirmed that local telcos Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) and Taiwan Star Telecom  had secured spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band. Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) did not win any license in that specific band.

In order to receive the green light to offer 5G services in Taiwan, operators must submit a business plan as well as an information security plan, which must be approved by the telecommunications regulator.

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