Japanese telco giant goes with Nokia and Ericsson for 5G

Ericsson partners with KDDI
(Image credit: Ericsson)

Japanese telco, KDDI, has selected it’s two 5G suppliers for when it rolls out the new network in March 2020. Nokia and Ericsson have been awarded the responsibility of being KDDI’s primary 5G suppliers, which is a huge boost for both companies.  

“Honoured and excited” 

"We look forward to transforming the network and launching 5G for consumers and industries.”

John Harrington, Head of Nokia Japan

Nokia’s relationship with KDDI spans two decades, and although it’s not surprising that it was picked as one of the telco’s primary suppliers, it was very important that the deal went through. After a rough few years, Nokia really needed to gain some traction with its 5G service.

Nokia will work on upgrading KDDI’s current 4G network to allow for delivery 5G using Airscale, whilst providing support for KDDI across both cmWave and mmWave 5G frequency bands. This further reinforces Nokia’s relationship with the telco, and puts the company in a great position.

John Harrington, Head of Nokia Japan, said: “This deal will allow KDDI to get ready for the 5G era and we are honoured and excited to continue our long-term relationship. As an end-to-end supplier of multiple technologies to KDDI, we look forward to transforming the network and launching 5G for consumers and industries.”

Nokia’s 5G portfolio continues to grow, as 48 global commercial 5G contracts have already been signed by the company. 

Ericsson also secures the contract 

Swedish vendor, Ericsson, has also been selected as a primary 5G supplier for KDDI. The mobile network company has been working with KDDI since 2013, and will supply radio access network (RAN) equipment.

An Ericsson statement went on to say that, "KDDI expects the first commercial live 5G services to be available from March 2020, with more than 93% coverage of 5G base station areas specified by Japan's telecom regulation body by the end of March 2025." This gives Ericsson a huge responsibility to supply 5G.

Both Nokia and Ericsson have also been selected as primary 5G suppliers for the world’s third largest mobile operator, SoftBank. These agreements are delivering continuous blows to Huawei, which is yet to secure large 5G contracts at this scale. 

Fiona Leake

Fiona discovered her love for investing and making money from a young age. Since then this interest has grown and now she loves writing about investing and business, and follows the 5G market closely. She is also a technology enthusiast, and so they tend to be her favourite investments.