Nokia chosen as key fibre-network supplier for National Broadband Plan

23 Jun 2020

Image: © Andrei/

National Broadband Ireland has chosen Nokia to deploy its fibre network technology as part of the National Broadband Plan.

The winning bidder of Ireland’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) has selected Nokia to be the technological backbone of the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. In a joint statement, National Broadband Ireland (NBI) and the Finnish telecoms company said that Nokia will provide 100pc of the NBP’s active equipment.

This includes FTTH based on passive optical network technology; an aggregation network based on its IP routing and optical networking technology; and a full performance management solution.

A €3bn contract for the NBP was signed last year, with the goal being to roll out high-speed broadband to 1.1m people living and working in 540,000 homes, schools, businesses and farms where commercial operators will not deliver connectivity.

‘The further digitalisation of Ireland’

The winning bidder for the contract was NBI, a consortium led by US-based private investment firm Granahan McCourt and Irish-American businessman David McCourt.

Last month, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, TD, said his department is looking into whether it’s possible to roll out the NBP ahead of schedule. Department officials were tasked with seeing if it could be completed within five years, instead of seven.

Speaking of the latest announcement, NBI CEO Peter Hendrick said: “We look forward to working with Nokia because the company has the experience from similar projects globally, as well as the technological capabilities and end-to-end portfolio, for a project like this.”

Cormac Whelan, CEO of UK and Ireland at Nokia, added: “It is imperative for today’s digital societies to provide high-speed connectivity everywhere – not just in cities and urban areas – to enable new digital services, digitalisation of industries and innovation for economy and society to the benefit of the whole country. This project is key for the further digitalisation of Ireland.”

Nokia has achieved significant network technology milestones in recent months. It recently unveiled liquid-cooled 5G stations that cut their emissions by 80pc, and announced in May that it had achieved a new 5G speed world record, clocking in at almost 5Gbps over its network in Dallas.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic