Telia joins growing 5G SA club with Nokia
Telia Finland, unsurprisingly, has turned to Finland's Nokia – a longstanding partner of Telia Group – to deploy a 5G standalone (SA) core. Nokia already supplies 5G RAN kit for Telia in Finland.
Moreover, work is apparently underway in rolling out Nokia's 5G SA core in other Telia markets – including Sweden. Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and Norway are also on Telia's 5G SA radar.
Nokia highlighted in the official announcement that Telia Finland is not only adopting a cloud packet core but also using registers, which allows subscriber data to be "consolidated into a common repository using a distributed and flexible architecture."
Operators and suppliers typically pitch 5G SA as "real 5G," offering lower latency times, higher throughput and greater reliability than the non-standalone (and LTE-based) 5G NR variant.
Edge computing and network slicing, courtesy of a 5G SA core, are usually highlighted as among the new and exciting revenue-generation possibilities.
Telia and Nokia were in a similar upbeat mood. "We are now taking the most significant step forward since the launch of 5G, as SA enables all the revolutionary features of 5G," said Jari Collin, Telia Finland's CTO.
Fran Heeran, head of core networks at Nokia, spoke enthusiastically about "enabling the rapid rollout of advanced 5G services" to Telia's customers.
The Finnish supplier used the Telia announcement to claim "leadership" in the 5G SA core market in terms of contract wins, counting over 80 CSP and enterprise customers around the world. This includes nearly 30 CSPs in Europe.
5G SA numbers on the rise
Telia's news comes quickly on the heels of a new "global market status" report on 5G SA from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).
As of the end of October, GSA said it had identified 94 operators in 48 countries/territories worldwide that have been investing in public 5G SA networks (either as trials, plans or actual deployments). That translates into just over 20% of the 469 operators known to be investing in 5G.
At least 19 operators in 15 countries/territories, adds the GSA, are now understood to have launched public 5G SA networks.
A recent survey of European and North American mobile operators by Heavy Reading and EXFO (published last month) revealed that 49% of them plan to deploy 5G SA within a year and that a further 39% plan to deploy 5G SA within one or two years.
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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading