Nokia Set to Secure 5G Radio Equipment Deal with MEO

Nokia is on the approach of securing a large contract to supply 5G radio equipment to Portuguese telecom operator MEO.
Nokia is on the approach of securing a large contract to supply 5G radio equipment to Portuguese telecom operator MEO.

According to an internal Nokia blog post and sources familiar with the matter, Nokia is on the verge of winning a significant contract to supply 5G radio equipment to Portuguese telecom operator MEO. 

This development marks a pivotal shift in MEO’s supplier landscape, which has historically relied exclusively on Huawei for its 2G, 3G, and 4G Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment.

Contact Details:

  • Status: The contract has been agreed upon but remains unsigned.
  • Announcement: An official announcement is expected as early as next month.
  • Historical Context: Huawei has been MEO’s sole supplier of RAN equipment across 2G, 3 G, and 4G networks. The new deal signifies a strategic move to diversify suppliers and replace Huawei in key markets within Portugal.

Significance for Nokia:

This contract represents a significant win for Nokia, enabling the company to re-enter the Portuguese RAN market after years of Huawei dominance. 

Nokia’s president of mobile networks, Tommi Uitto, highlighted this development in an internal blog, noting the importance of replacing Huawei in some critical markets in Portugal.

Market and Competitive Landscape:

RAN equipment is a major revenue driver for telecom giants like Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson. However, the market has faced challenges recently:

  • Declining Demand: Demand for new telecom equipment has been down since last year, impacting sales and leading to job cuts at Nokia and Ericsson.
  • Market Projections: The global RAN market is expected to decline by 5-8% in 2024, according to research firm Dell’Oro.

Impact of Security Concerns on Huawei:

Security concerns have affected Huawei’s market position, leading to bans in the U.S. and several European countries.

Despite this, Huawei maintains a significant presence in Europe and dominates the fast-growing telecom market in China.

Strategic Importance for MEO:

MEO, one of Portugal’s leading mobile operators and part of France’s Altice group, aims to diversify its supplier base by partnering with Nokia for its 5G network expansion.

This move is part of a broader trend among telecom operators to reduce dependency on a single supplier, particularly regarding geopolitical and security concerns surrounding Huawei.

Industry Reactions:

  • Nokia: A spokesperson for Nokia declined to comment on the deal.
  • Huawei: Huawei also declined to comment.
  • MEO: MEO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

James Adam

James Adam, a noted business writer for CEO Times Magazine, specializes in insightful industry analysis and executive profiles. Known for his clear, concise style, James offers readers an expert perspective on global business trends and market dynamics.

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