Nokia gets O2 contract

27 Nov 2002

Mobile equipment manufacturer, Nokia has been chosen by O2 Ireland to be sole supplier of its public Wireless LAN system. As reported last week, O2 is rolling out the commercial availability of public wireless local area networks (WLANs) from January of next year.

Under the agreement, Nokia is providing its Operator Wireless LAN solution, while IBM Global Service is providing system integration services. The agreement follows a successful validation period and business modelling with O2 Ireland.

“The flexible design of the Nokia A036 access point has helped O2 Ireland deploy WLAN access zones in a variety of installation settings. It can be used with an internal or external antenna, so installation can be optimized for service-area coverage and a minimum visual impact,” said Paul Tyler, senior account manager of Nokia Networks.

“We chose Nokia’s WLAN solution because it provides all the elements needed for complete wireless access service for our customers,” said Tony Dempsey, WLAN programme manager at O2 Ireland. “Nokia’s solution has proved itself to be robust and met all of our customer requirements. It has the option to support GPRS roaming and EAP/SIM authentication, meaning that we can provide public WLAN services for all customer segments; pre-paid, post-paid, national and international customers, and those using existing terminals as well as terminals of emerging standards,” he said.

O2 have been trialling the service in selected locations around Ireland for the past four months. Fixed line operator Eircom has also begun trials of a wireless service with a few to launching a commercial service early in the new year. Rival operator Vodafone has held back from launching a service since it believes that a creditable business model has yet to be established.

The announcement is the latest in a series of infrastructure deals won by Nokia. Only last month, O2 parent mmO2 announced that Nokia had been selected to deliver its MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) to O2 networks in Ireland, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

By Dick O’Brien