Nokia and China Mobile have agreed a comprehensive €1 billion deal that will see the Finnish firm continue to supply telecommunications network equipment and operational support.
The two companies already have a longstanding relationship, but this deal will see Nokia continue to provide China Mobile with mobile, fixed, IP routing, optical transport and customer experience management technologies.
China Mobile hopes the arrangement will give it the innovations it needs to boost the quality, speed and reliability of its network at a time when data traffic is increasing and the arrival of 5G is imminent.
Nokia China Mobile
There is a collaboration element to the partnership too. Nokia and China Mobile will look to identify products and services for vertical markets and there will be research and testing of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities.
“This is a highly significant agreement with our longstanding partner that consolidates Nokia's position as a leading provider of next-generation technologies and services in China,” said Mike Wang, President of Nokia Shanghai Bell.
“We are committed to delivering industry-leading, end-to-end capabilities that will allow operators to dramatically increase performance, which will introduce new possibilities for networks of the future."
China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile operator and hopes to launch a commercial 5G network in 2019, with trials of next generation networks set to take place in major cities in the country later this year. It has just completed network operability testing with Intel and Huawei in a development that will accelerate the development of 5G compatible systems.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.