A spokesman from Telekomunikacja Polska SA , which is the network operator for the Orange brand in the country, confirmed to Light Reading Mobile by email that Ericsson's equipment will be replaced by equipment from Huawei and NSN.
Previously, Orange used mobile network gear from Huawei and NSN in Poland, while the T-Mobile network there was built on Ericsson and NSN equipment.
Orange and T-Mobile -- which are Poland's first and third operators respectively, by subscribers -- established a radio access network (RAN) sharing joint venture, called NetWorks!, in July 2011 that will be responsible for network management, planning, building and operations. Earlier this week, the operators announced the suppliers for the shared network. (See Polish Operators Share Networks.)
Why this matters
As operators in Europe update legacy 2G and 3G base stations with multi-standard equipment that supports 2G, 3G and LTE, supplier relationships with operators are in flux. A vendor that is ousted from one operator today will be kicking out a competitor from another operator's network tomorrow.
Strategically it's a blow to Ericsson to miss out on radio access business at the Polish joint venture because the operators' parents, Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), aim to streamline their equipment suppliers across their combined footprints. And this is the second time the Swedish vendor has been replaced at an Orange/T-Mobile joint operation: In the U.K., the operators' EE joint venture chose Huawei to replace its legacy GSM equipment from Ericsson, NSN and Nortel. (See Huawei's Trojan Horse , Huawei Lands First UK Mobile Deal and Euronews: Huawei Breaks New British Ground.)
Here's a refresher on what Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom have been getting up to:
- DT & FT Deepen Ties
- FT, DT Form Procurement JV
- T-Mobile, Orange Join Forces in UK
- EC Clears Orange, T-Mobile UK Merger
- T-Mob, Orange Complete UK Merger
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile