Nokia to deliver around 10% of China Unicom's 5G core network

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Nokia is seen before the company's news conference in Espoo, Finland March 2, 2020. Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia said on Monday that China Unicom had selected it to supply around 10% share of its 5G core network, confirming an earlier statement to Reuters by Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri.

“China Unicom has chosen Nokia to support the buildout ofits 5G SA Core network in China, marking an expansion of Nokia’s existing 4G working relationship with the Chinese communication service provider,” Nokia said in a statement, adding the deal corresponded to a 10% share.

At the end of April, Nokia’s Suri told Reuters in an interview that Nokia had won a 10% share of China Unicom’s 5G core network, alongside rivals Huawei and ZTE.

“The core network performs a variety of functions, including setting up connections, bandwidth management, scaling and securing the network, and, now with 5G, opening up the network to support new, software-enabled use cases such as network slicing,” Nokia said.

Despite progress in its core network sales in China, Nokia has been on the sidelines for larger China radio network orders, which include masts, antennas and other equipment.

According to media reports, Nokia did not win any 5G radio contracts from Chinese telecom companies - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - in recent bidding rounds.

Reporting by Anne Kauranen in Helsinki; editing by Jason Neely