09/10/20 07:00

Corporate news

Orange Belgium selects Nokia for its future mobile radio network

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Orange Belgium has selected Nokia to progressively renew its existing 2G/3G/4G mobile radio network and for the roll-out of 5G.

Nokia has been selected following a thorough competitive process, based on technological, operational and financial criteria.

Orange Belgium will fully upgrade its existing 2G/3G/4G radio network by 2023. Orange Belgium will also start rolling out 5G, depending on frequency availability and EMF restrictions, in order to offer the best possible connectivity and to avoid saturation on the legacy networks for its customers, but also to allow businesses to fully take advantage of the industrial opportunities offered by 5G.

In a first step, Orange Belgium’s 5G radio network will be associated with its existing core network - provided by Ericsson - which is already able to work with the 5G radio infrastructure in NSA (non stand-alone) mode. In parallel, Orange Belgium is preparing the future evolution of its core network to support 5G SA (stand-alone), in order to offer the full 5G end-to-end functionalities in a second step (eg. network slicing and guaranteed performance).

This will result in a state-of-the-art and future-proof mobile network to the benefit of its customers. It will also help Orange Belgium achieve its CO²-reduction objectives, thanks to the significantly increased energy efficiency of 5G infrastructures.

Orange Luxembourg, a subsidiary of Orange Belgium, also announces the selection of Nokia for the deployment of the 5G network in Luxembourg. With 5G, the Luxembourg subsidiary confirms its commitment to offer the best of connectivity to its customers and to support companies and start-ups in their innovation projects by already having the first zones covered by 5G masts by the end of this year.

Orange Belgium’s guidance on its expected benefits and implementation costs of the RAN sharing agreement with Proximus remains unchanged following the selection of Nokia.

Tommi Uitto, President of Nokia Mobile Networks says: “We are proud to support Orange Belgium in building a cutting-edge Single RAN and 5G network in Belgium. As the sole radio supplier for this 5G network evolving to stand alone mode, we are providing Nokia’s AirScale radio covering the whole 3.5 Ghz spectrum, offering ultra-broadband to Orange subscribers. Our Single RAN technology also lowers the carbon footprint by supporting 3G, 4G and 5G radio units and thereby reducing the number of sites and antennas.”

Xavier Pichon, CEO of Orange Belgium, comments: “We are thrilled to start a new partnership with Nokia to roll out a best-in-class, energy-efficient and future-proof mobile radio access network in Belgium, based on the core network provided by Ericsson, in order to ensure the best user experience for residential and business customers, be it on 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G.”