Nokia is sole 5G RAN provider – operator remains at odds with government over ‘Huawei bill’ and upcoming spectrum auction.
Nokia has been selected by Elisa Estonia to deploy a nationwide (picture show capital, Tallinn) 5G RAN and replace the existing 4G infrastructure in a five-year deal.
The Finnish vendor will be the sole provider, replacing the incumbent equipment maker – no names mentioned. However, last year, Sami Seppänen, CEO of Elisa Estonia, complained about the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and communications draft regulation to restrict tech from outside the European Union in Estonia’s 5G network, indeed the putative law was known as the Huawei bill.
Seppänen also said the transition period was too short and could cost up to €500 million. Despite much grumbling from operators, the Estonian Electronic Communications Act is due to become law early next year.
Andrus Hiiuepuu, who formerly headed up marketing at Elisa Estonia, took over the role of CEO at the beginning of this month after Seppänen’s 20 years in the job.
The change at the top does not look like a change of approach though: according to eer.ee, a news website: although the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications hopes to establish the conditions of the 5G spectrum auction and announce hold the bidding in the New Year, Elisa continues to criticise the state for its inflexibility which the company states could lead to a court battle.
Nokia’s 5G deployment
Nokia’s deployment is expected to begin next year after the completion of Estonia’s spectrum auction in early 2022.
Nokia will provide equipment from its ReefShark system on chip-powered AirScale equipment portfolio covering Elisa’s nationwide radio network across the country.
Nokia’s AirScale RAN portfolio covers deployment scenarios from dense urban environments to wide-area coverage suited to rural areas.
The deal will also see Nokia and Elisa co-operate in developing an O-RAN ecosystem.
Nokia supports of O-RAN and the O-RAN Alliance, and contributes to the alliance’s technical work and working groups.
Nokia has a long-standing partnership with Elisa Corporation and was selected as a nationwide supplier of 5G RAN last year supporting their efforts to digitalise Finland and make it a leading global 5G market.
Andrus Hiiepuu, CEO at Elisa Estonia, commented: “We have huge ambitions for providing state-of-the-art entertainment and communications services to our customers underpinned by a 5G network.
“Nokia is our trusted partner for this and will help us to deliver a sustainable 5G business. Their technology and innovation will help us to differentiate in the market and I look forward to working closely with them on this project.”