Nokia lands $1 billion network transition deal with China Mobile

China Mobile has signed a €1.36 billion ($1.5 billion) one-year contract with Nokia.

The agreement will see the Finnish vendor deploying its latest AirScale base stations across the country as it aids China Mobile’s transition to a flexible cloud architecture for its network. China Mobile will be the first operator to deploy these base stations, which enable the simultaneous function of several radio technologies, as well as purportedly delivering scalability for 5G speeds and IoT functionality.

Nokia will also provide additional elements of its mobile radio access and core portfolio in addition to fixed access, IP routing and optical transport, customer experience management, operational support system (OSS) and third party products as well as its global Services expertise.

Following its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent for $17.6 billion, Nokia has seen a 9% drop in Q1 revenue, with the mobile networks revenue for the combined entity falling 15% year-on-year. The vendor is reportedly implementing a global redundancy programme in which it will cut as many as 15,000 jobs.

The deal is therefore timely for Nokia, and going on past form, the contract has been awarded early – China Mobile has signed $1 billion deals with Nokia for the past few years every October. Nokia noted that the firms have worked together since 1994.

Nokia Networks China president Mike Wang said that the deal “strengthens Nokia’s position as a leading provider of next-generation technologies in China, and reflects our larger footprint in the country following the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.”

China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile operator, with around 634 million connections in its home market.

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