Tele2 picks Nokia for standalone 5G core in Sweden, Baltics

Tele2 has chosen Nokia as its vendor partner for the deployment of its 5G core network.  

The deal includes standalone (SA) 5G core and Voice over 5G (Vo5G) covering Tele2’s subscribers in Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Deployment is scheduled to start in 2021.

Tele2 said it looked for a “knowledgeable partner” to handle the rollout of its 5G core in a reliable way, and it found just that in Nokia.

According to Tele2, Nokia’s 5G core offers automation capabilities that drive greater scale and reliability, allowing Tele2 to lay the foundation for 5G and enable faster time to market with new services. The open architecture also provides the flexibility to be responsive to market demands while controlling costs at a time of growing network complexity. Tele2 will use Nokia cloud solutions for both 4G and 5G network functions.

Tele2 boasts that it launched Sweden’s first 5G network, which has now been rolled out to more than 30 cities in Sweden.

Rest assured, 5G marketing wars are not unique to the U.S. carriers. To wit: Tele2 says it’s the only network company providing “actual 5G” in Sweden, with “actual 5G speeds.”

The company last year said it’s the only operator in Sweden that provides speeds over 1 Gigabit per second, in accordance with global standards. At the time, it said Tele2 customers can experience 5G speeds that are more than four times faster than 4G and 50% faster than what its competitors in Sweden could offer.

Of course, Sweden is home to Nokia rival Ericsson. Tele2 previously has used network gear from Huawei, according to a Reuters report, but last year Sweden’s government said it would ban Huawei and ZTE from supplying 5G gear. Tele2 said it would comply with security conditions.

In a statement, Raghav Sahgal, president of Nokia Cloud and Network Services, noted the long history Nokia has with Tele2.

“We are proud to be expanding on our long-standing relationship with Tele2 as we move into the 5G era,” he said. “With our relationship stemming back to the mobile core days of the 1990s, we look forward to collaborating with Tele2 to support new 21st century digital services and unlock even more reliable network experiences.”

RELATED: Ericsson CEO lobbied Swedish minister over Huawei ban – report

Sweden was supposed to hold a 5G spectrum auction in November, but Huawei challenged the auction rules. After a court review, the auction is now set to take place on January 19.

In October, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) announced that four entities were approved for participating in 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz auctions: Hi3G Access, Net4Mobility, Telia Sverige and Teracom. Net4Mobility is a joint venture between Telenor Sweden and Tele2 Sweden.