"This is our largest 5G deal to date, in fact it's one of our largest-ever deals", Phil Twist, Nokia's global marketing chief said in interview. It is thought that the first 5G networks will go live in the USA later this year, with more rollouts in 2019.
The carrier said it would use its partnership with Nokia to deliver the US' first nationwide 5G services.
As demand for existing 4G networks has slowed in recent years, the deal with T-Mobile is a big boost for Nokia and marks the beginning of the next wireless upgrade cycle. "This is a testament to our companies' strong and productive working relationship".
"We are all in on 5G", T-Mobile chief technology officer Neville Ray said in a release. The Finnish network-equipment vendor said last week that operators looking to build next-generation networks are pressuring prices as they try to fund the upgrades within their existing budgets.
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A T-Mobile spokesman said the plan was already baked into the company's capital spending forecast and doesn't replace Ericsson AB, which also sells gear to the wireless operator. It sounds like Nokia itself will take a hands-on role in building out T-Mobile's network as well, so the carrier has certainly gained a lot of resources in the rush to get its network going.
T-Mobile, which is the third-largest operator in the United States behind Verizon and AT&T, agreed to merge with rival Sprint in April.
T-Mobile's 5G network will reportedly enable "faster speeds, massive connectivity", and a "super-responsive" network from a customer standpoint.
T-Mobile will leverage a variety of products on the 5G portfolio of Nokia, including AirFrame hardware, CloudBand software and AirScale radio platforms and cloud-native core.