Orange France will continue to work with Nokia and Ericsson to evolve its mobile access network towards 5G.
The two companies are both long-term partners of the operator, already providing RAN equipment for 2G/3G/4G infrastructure. Nokia will continue to serve the western and south-eastern areas of the country, while Ericsson will remain the main supplier for the Ile-de-France, north-east and south-west regions.
Building on its existing market share and long history with Orange, Nokia will provide Orange, for a broad part of France, with a range of products and services from its end-to-end 5G portfolio, including Single Radio Access Network (RAN) technology, advanced automation tools, a network management solution and associated professional services.
Ericsson said that the contract, covering five years, will include RAN, maintenance and deployment services. Work is due to begin immediately to enable Orange to launch 5G when the new frequency bands are made available later this year.
The operator says the infrastructure investment will allow Orange France to improve customer experience, boost network capacity, enable further automation and create new innovative services that require ultra-high bandwidth and low latency. The new network will provide improved mobile broadband services as well as allow Orange to provide ultra-low latency applications in areas such as industrial IoT, health, public safety among others.
Nokia will initially support Orange’s 5G commercial launch by enabling the rollout of its state-of-the-art SRAN network to 5G through software upgrades, streamlining the initial steps to build 5G. It will also introduce 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware, and software for the new 5G frequency bands.