(Reuters) – Despite coronavirus lockdowns hitting global supply chains and construction projects, telecommunication firms have continued to contract equipment from Chinese technology giant Huawei, Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson to build fifth-generation technology (5G) networks, which are expected to power everything from high-speed video transmissions to self-driving cars.
Smartphone vendor Samsung and chipmaker Qualcomm are among others vying for a slice of the pie.
For a graphic on 5G networks, click here.
The following are some of the most significant developments and deals clinched by the top three suppliers:
June 15 – After blacklisting Huawei last year amid security concerns, the United States confirmed it will amend prohibitions on U.S. companies doing business with the firm, so they can work together to set standards for 5G networks. In its last business update, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker said in February it had clinched 91 commercial contracts – despite U.S. security concerns. https://bit.ly/3d4Nuc6
Feb. 19 – Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator Safaricom said it considered awarding a contract to Huawei for its 5G rollout this year.
Feb. 13 – Canadian telecom operator Telus Corp said it would use Huawei in its initial module.
Dec. 2019 – Picked alongside Nokia by Telefonica Deutschland, even as parent company Telefonica said it would reduce Huawei kit for its core network and move to multiple suppliers.
2019 – Supply agreements with Cambodia, United Arab Emirates telecoms company du, Malaysia’s Maxis, Vodafone Qatar and VIVA Bahrain, a subsidiary of Saudi state-controlled telecoms firm STC.
As of June 17, the Swedish telecom equipment maker has reported 93 5G commercial agreements and 40 live networks across 22 countries. Ericsson almost doubled its global forecast for 5G mobile subscriptions to 190 million by the end of this year, due to faster than expected uptake in China.
June 12 – The United States is in talks with Brazil and local telecommunications companies on funding the acquisition of 5G gear produced by Ericsson and Nokia.
June 10 – O2 UK picks Ericsson to upgrade existing sites and extend 5G radio access network (RAN) rollout across the country.
June 2 – Bell Canada teams with Ericsson, while fellow Canadian telecom firm Telus Corp picks both Ericsson and Nokia.
June 2 – Telefonica Deutschland picks Ericsson to build its German core mobile network.
April 29 – China Mobile picks Ericsson to supply 5G components for the second phase of its rollout.
March 26 – Russia’s MTS picks Ericsson to improve its existing capacities with 5G-ready equipment.
March 5 – Sinch expands an existing partnership into 5G.
Jan. 31 – Orange selects Nokia and Ericsson to deploy its network in mainland France.
Jan. 15 – Rogers Communications, using Ericsson technology, starts rolling out its network in some Canadian cities.
Jan. 3 – Poland’s Cyfrowy Polsat picks Nokia and Ericsson for its commercial roll-out.
2019 – Wins contracts in Europe with Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, Tele Greenland and Norway’s Telenor, after it worked for decade with Huawei on 4G.
– Strikes deals with U.S. operators RINA Wireless, U.S Cellular and GCI; with Gulf providers including Saudi Telecom Company, Bahrain’s Batelco, UAE’s Etisalat, and Qatar’s Ooredoo; and MTN South Africa.
2017-2018 – Supply deals with T-Mobile US, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Swisscom and Vodafone concerning 5G networks in Spain, Britain, Ireland and Germany.
As of June 17, Nokia has signed 73 commercial 5G deals worldwide and is powering 23 live networks globally. As well as the above deals with Ericsson, the Finnish firm has signed the following deals as it seeks to accelerate its so-far sluggish shift to 5G.
June 15 – China Unicom selects Nokia to supply around 10% of its core network. March 18 – Chunghwa Telecom picks Nokia for Taiwan launch. March 4-5 – Partnerships with Intel and Marvell Technology. Feb. 10 – Orange Slovensko selects Nokia to prepare its RAN deployment.
2019 – Partners with Vodaphone Hutchison Australia (VHA), SETAR, Telefonica Deutschland , Deutsche Bahn, Spark New Zealand , DoCoMo Pacific, Iliad, Softbank and Austria’s A1. 2018 – Signs $3.5 billion deal with T-Mobile US; agreement with China Mobile to develop networks for industrial uses.
(Reporting by Charles Regnier and Sarah Morland; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Tomasz Janowski)