5G and Beyond

Verizon reiterates support for Nokia amid rumors of a Samsung swapout

Verizon said Nokia continues to be a partner for the operator as it builds out its 5G network. The comments come amid reports that Verizon is replacing Nokia with Samsung as one of its three primary equipment suppliers.

According to Seeking Alpha, Rosenblatt analyst Ryan Koontz said Verizon is close to replacing Nokia with Samsung. Koontz said Ericsson would continue to supply roughly 50% of Verizon's equipment, but that Samsung could score a contract with the operator worth up to $1.5 billion per year for five to seven years.

Rosenblatt isn't alone. As reported by Reuters, JP Morgan downgraded Nokia's stock due to the "real risk" that Nokia could lose significant business at Verizon to Samsung.

Nokia's stock fell roughly 8% on the worries.

But Verizon poured cold water on the hot report. "We are accelerating our 5G deployment and work with a diverse set of partners to deliver a best-in-class network and customer experience," a Verizon spokesperson told Light Reading in response to questions about the report. "We work closely with all vendors in our ecosystem on our future plans. Nokia continues to be an important partner."

In a statement reported by Reuters, Nokia said it is "proud to serve Verizon, and we are committed to continuing to help them build the best, most reliable and highest performing network."

Nokia has had a number of well-documented troubles in the 5G space – notably it contributed to a delay in Sprint's launch of 5G prior to T-Mobile's merger with Sprint.

For its part, Nokia recently announced a new 5G chipset strategy alongside a new CEO.

Verizon, meantime, recently raised its capital spending this year amid expectations of a major increase in overall capex in the US wireless industry.

Both Nokia and Samsung recently pledged support for open, virtualized products.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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