Nokia, Ericsson win 5G contracts with A1 in the Balkans

A1 Telekom Austria Group granted on Monday to Scandinavian network equipment suppliers Nokia and Ericsson 5G contacts in Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia.

This step follows the group’s purchase of a new 5G spectrum worth $16.59 million for its Croatian subsidiary A1 Croatia earlier last week.

As for the geographical distribution between the two chosen vendors, in Bulgaria, Nokia will deploy the radio network and Ericsson the core network.

Whereas in Croatia Ericsson will run both radio and core, while Nokia will deploy radio and packet core networks in Serbia and Slovenia.

These steps are aligned with the company’s core vision, in which A1 Telekom highlighted that it aims to unleash the market potential via strong partnerships, according to a 2019 report by the telco.

Alexander Kuchar, director group technology at A1, considered that the agreement demonstrates a strong commitment to providing the best user experience in terms of communications and entertainment services on a high-class and secure infrastructure to our B2C and B2B customers.

“At the same time, we are taking a strong stand on virtualization, automation and simplification of our network architecture,” the group’s spokesperson added in a joint statement.

Notably, Nokia is already providing comprehensive 5G coverage across Austria and will evolve its partnership with A1 in this expanded deal.

“We are delighted to have been selected by A1 Telekom Austria Group to support their rollout of our AirScale 5G RAN and core technology across Bulgaria, Serbia and Slovenia,” said Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia in a separate statement.

“They continue to place their trust in our technology and are committed to delivering best-in-class services to their subscribers around the world. We

look forward to working collaboratively with them moving forward,” he added.

Meanwhile, Swedish provider Ericsson failed to announce any details concerning the deal with A1.

However, Ericsson revealed earlier on Thursday that it has secured an exclusive 5G Core and Radio Access Network (RAN) deal with the Faroe Islands’ service provider, Faroese Telecom (Føroya Tele).

The deal that Ericsson won at the autonomous island – and is part of the Kingdom of Denmark – was expected to be granted to Chinese giant Huawei.

Media reports previously showed that China’s ambassador to Denmark threatened the Faroese leader over the possibility of Huawei not getting its 5G work last year