Nokia and Ericsson secure 5G wins with Orange France

31 Jan 2020

An Orange retail store in France. Image: pixamo/

Orange France has selected Nokia and Ericsson to support the roll-out of its 5G network.

Today (31 January), Orange, one of the largest mobile operators in Europe, announced that both Nokia and Ericsson will help roll out its 5G network in France.

Throughout Europe, the major competitors in the 5G space are Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei, which have each secured contracts with other mobile operators. However, several countries have expressed security concerns about using Huawei’s technology.

Nokia and Ericsson already provide tech for Orange’s 4G network in France, and now plan to build on their existing market share.

Nokia will provide Orange with a range of products and services from its end-to-end 5G portfolio across a broad area of France, covering the west and south-east regions. This includes technology such as Nokia’s single radio access network (RAN), its advanced automation tools, network management solution and the associated professional services to support it.

Ericsson, meanwhile, will focus on north-east, south-west and Paris region with its 5G RAN products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio.

5G roll-out

With the 5G roll-out, Orange France aims to significantly improve customer experience, boost network capacity, enable further automation and create new innovative services that require ultra-high bandwidth and low latency.

In a statement, Nokia said that the new network will provide improved mobile broadband services, allowing Orange to provide ultra-low latency applications in areas such as industrial IoT, health and public safety, among others.

Ericsson added that deployment will begin as soon as possible so that the Orange France 5G network will be ready to launch when the frequencies are made available during 2020.

‘The right technology’

Commenting on the deal, Orange France deputy CEO Fabienne Dulac said: “For Orange, the deployment of 5G represents a huge challenge and is one of the main priorities for our Engage 2025 strategic plan.

“We are delighted to be pursuing our partnerships with both Nokia and Ericsson, two key long-term partners, in order to develop a powerful and innovative 5G network. 5G will enable the development of new use cases and new services, and will provide an enriched experience for our customers – both in the consumer and business segments. Through this agreement, Orange reaffirms its ambition to being a network leader.”

Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia, said: “Nokia is thrilled to bring 5G to France with Orange, a key European operator.

“Nokia has exactly the right technology for this project, given our excellence in SRAN, 5G and end-to-end network infrastructure leadership. This deal builds on our long-standing trusted relationship with Orange and will deliver a superior experience for businesses and customers alike.”

Arun Bansal, president for Europe and Latin America at Ericsson, added that 5G is set to “transform business, industry and society across France”.

In Ireland, Three is expected to launch its 5G network using Ericsson technology. The Swedish company already provides the infrastructure for Vodafone’s 5G network, while Eir’s 5G network uses a combination of Huawei and Ericsson technology.

Updated, 12.30pm, 31 January 2020: This article was updated to clarify that both Nokia and Ericsson were chosen to develop Orange France’s 5G network, and not just Nokia.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic