Nokia has won 5G contracts with Belgian mobile carriers Orange and Proximus, while Ericsson secured a 5G core deal with Proximus.
Orange Belgium has selected Nokia to gradually renew its existing 2G/3G/4G mobile radio network and for the rollout of 5G, the carrier said in a release.
Under the terms of the deal, Orange Belgium aims to fully upgrade its existing 2G/3G/4G radio network by 2023. The Belgian telco also said that it expects to start deploying 5G infrastructure depending on frequency availability in the country.
In a first step, Orange Belgium’s 5G radio network will be associated with its existing core network — provided by Ericsson — which is already able to work with the 5G radio infrastructure in Nonstandalone (NSA) mode. In parallel, Orange Belgium said it is paving the way for the future evolution of its core network to support 5G Standalone (SA) architecture.
Orange Luxembourg, which is a subsidiary of Orange Belgium, also announced that it has selected Nokia for the deployment of a 5G network in Luxembourg. The telco expects to see the first 5G deployments by the end of this year.
“We are proud to support Orange Belgium in building a cutting-edge Single RAN and 5G network in Belgium,” said Tommi Uitto, president of Nokia Mobile Networks, in a statement. “As the sole radio supplier for this 5G network evolving to stand alone mode, we are providing Nokia’s AirScale radio covering the whole 3.5 GHz spectrum, offering ultra-broadband to Orange subscribers. Our Single RAN technology also lowers the carbon footprint by supporting 3G, 4G and 5G radio units and thereby reducing the number of sites and antennas.”
“We are thrilled to start a new partnership with Nokia to roll out a best-in-class, energy-efficient and future-proof mobile radio access network in Belgium, based on the core network provided by Ericsson, in order to ensure the best user experience for residential and business customers, be it on 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G,” said Xavier Pichon, CEO of Orange Belgium.
Meanwhile, rival operator Proximus said it has selected Nokia to upgrade the Mobile Radio Access network (RAN) equipment, while Ericsson has been selected as Proximus’ main partner for the modernization of its mobile data core network.
For the RAN part, Nokia has been selected to progressively modernize Proximus’ existing 2G/3G/4G network by 2023. In parallel, Nokia will be a key partner in the deployment of the 5G network, Proximus said.
For Proximus’ core network, Ericsson has been selected to deploy its dual-mode 5G Core, which supports 5G NR SA and NSA, 4G, 3G and 2G technologies.
Proximus’ 5G technology is already available at 110 different sites in 62 cities and municipalities, mainly in Flanders.