09 Nov A1 Austria hands private 5G role to Nokia | Light Reading
Nokia has announced that it has won a services deal with A1 Austria, a subsidiary of Carlos Slim’s Amrica Mvil, surrounding development of the operator’s LTE and 5G campus network proposition.
The agreement apparently builds on a three-year contract, struck between the two companies earlier this year, in which Nokia will deploy its “4.9G/LTE 5G” private wireless network solutions.
As part of the new services deal, Nokia will provide operational support and care for all existing campus networks, “ensuring adherence to even the most challenging service level agreements and quality of services requirements.”
A1 and Nokia claim they have already successfully deployed a number of private wireless campus networks in Austria, including installations at Magna Steyr, Vienna Airport and 5G Playground Carinthia.
Close buddies, we are
A1 is not a passive Nokia customer, but a “technology partner.” When it comes to network slicing technology in 4G and 5G mobile networks, which is being piloted in Austria, Nokia describes A1 as its “global lead customer.”
In February, the Finnish vendor announced availability of its then new “end-to-end slicing network functionality” for 4G and 5G New Radio (NR), which was developed in close collaboration with A1 and Sweden’s Telia. Network slicing is a key functionality for enterprise networking, plus a way to develop new market segments and revenue streams.
In addition to the services contract, Nokia provides A1 the infrastructure, software and services for the setting up of private LTE networks. This includes a micro core network, AirFrame servers and small or macro cells.
Deployments of private LTE and 5G networks are picking up momentum. Last month the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) said it had counted over 150 deployments worldwide. LTE is being used in 81% of the deployments it has cataloged, with 5G currently being deployed (or planned for deployment) in over a quarter of the networks.
The association added that two-thirds of the private network deployments are local area networks (single sites and campuses), the manufacturing sector leading the way with over 30 known pilots or deployments identified.
The GSA also noted that growth in demand for networks to support IoT, smart city, mission-critical services, government and Industry 4.0 applications has seen regulators increasingly set aside much more spectrum, either on a dedicated or shared basis, for private mobile networks.
Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading