Nokia's 5G shipments to South Korean operators are three months behind schedule and are experiencing interoperability problems, according to a local news site.
The Finnish vendor has struggled to keep up with the early demand in the market, the world's first to switch on commercial 5G, and is shipping just a fraction of the volume of rival Samsung.
First deliveries of its 5G gear to each of the three operators, KT, SK Telecom and LG U+, arrived earlier this month, Business Korea reported.
But Nokia's kit has displayed "some problems" in interoperability testing and in carrying heavy traffic loads, exacerbating the deployment difficulties of the three operators, who have each chosen to roll out with multiple vendors.
Because of the delay, KT is replacing some of the scheduled Nokia equipment with Samsung Electronics gear in the Jeolla and Gangwon provinces. One other operator, LG U+, is considering a similar approach.
According to Business Korea, Nokia has shipped between 1,000 to 4,000 units of 5G gear so far, compared to the 30,000 to 40,000 units shipped by Samsung.
In an emailed statement to Light Reading, Nokia doesn't deny the delays.
"Nokia is actively delivering our 5G equipment to operators in Korea and we are confident that we will fulfil the 5G equipment needs of all customers," the statement said.
"We have already started delivering 5G units to customers in Korea and are increasing our 5G production capabilities."
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— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading