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Blow for Nokia as it misses out on Telia Lithuania 5G RAN work

There was hope for Nokia when Lithuania was left out of the 5G RAN announcement between Telia and Ericsson, but it has proved forlorn.

Swedish telco group Telia was only ever going to choose between the two Nordic vendors when doshing out its 5G network deals. Nokia got the core work for all of Telia’s six country operations, but Ericsson was chosen to help with the far more lucrative RAN rollout in most of them. Unallocated at the time, however, was the RAN work for Denmark and Lithuania, which seemed to present an opportunity for Nokia.

But today Telia announced Ericsson will take care of its 5G RAN in Lithuania too. “The partnership between two Swedish wireless pioneers – Telia and Ericsson – will allow us to provide our customers with state-of-the-art mobile connectivity and will drive faster development of a sustainable digital society,” said Dan Strömberg, CEO of Telia Lithuania. “Updated 4G networks and the upcoming 5G technology will bring people and businesses a qualitative leap in several areas – from education and healthcare to transport or leisure.”

The extra bad news for Nokia is that Strömberg is also Head of Lithuania, Estonia and Denmark, so it would be surprising for him to use different 5G RAN vendors within his turf. It’s not clear why Telia is choosing to drip-feed this news. Maybe it’s to maintain the impression of a healthy competitive process before it gives the work to Ericsson.

“We are excited to further strengthen our partnership with Telia, to power enhanced 4G and next-generation 5G to their customers in Lithuania,” said Jenny Lindqvist, Head of Northern and Central Europe for Ericsson. “5G is a catalyst for digital innovation, transforming business and industry and giving the Lithuanian economy the boost it needs during uncertain times. Driving a more resilient, smarter and sustainable society, we are working with Telia to bring 5G to the Baltics and Nordics alike.”

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