HELSINKI: Finland's Nokia will replace Huawei as BT's largest equipment provider after winning a deal to supply 5G networks across the UK, the companies announced on Tuesday.
The move is the first UK contract for the Finnish telecoms maker since Prime Minister Boris Johnson banned mobile providers in July from using equipment made by the Chinese giant in their new 5G networks, reports AFP.The restriction, on national security grounds, forces mobile providers to begin switching out "high-risk vendors" from 2021, and marks a golden opportunity for Huawei's two main rivals in the 5G market, Finland's Nokia and Swedish Ericsson.
Companies in the UK have until 2027 to remove Huawei equipment from their 5G networks, a change which BT has said will cost it £500 million ($643m).
Under the BT deal, Nokia will supply base stations and other network equipment to allow its customers to access super-fast 5G internet.
Nokia equipment will also be installed in the company's existing 2G and 4G networks.
However, the company told AFP it will also use other suppliers to replace the totality of its Huawei 5G equipment.