Nordic communication systems providers Ericsson and Nokia have struck gold in Belgium
with deals to provide the necessary technology for the next-generation networks of Proximus and Orange.
As well as selecting the technology of Nokia for the roll-out of 5G,
Orange Belgium has selected it to progressively renew its existing 2G/3G/4G mobile radio network.
The telco will start rolling out 5G, depending on EMF restrictions and frequency availability,
in order to “offer the best possible connectivity” and to avoid saturation on the legacy networks for its consumers,
but also to enable businesses to take full benefit of the industrial opportunities offered by 5G.
Nokia will make a single radio access network (RAN) and a 5G network in Belgium.
As the sole radio supplier for the 5G network evolving to standalone mode,
it will also endow its AirScale radio system covering the whole 3.5GHz spectrum, providing ultra-broadband to Orange subscribers.
In the first step of deployment, the 5G radio network of Orange Belgium will be associated with its existing core network – provided by Ericsson
which can already work with the 5G radio infrastructure in non-standalone (NSA) mode.
Parallelly, Orange Belgium is setting up the future evolution of its core network to support 5G SA (standalone),
in order to propose the full 5G end-to-end functionalities in a second step
that will comprise advanced functionality such as guaranteed performance and network slicing.
Orange Belgium believes, it will ultimately have a future-proof and state-of-the-art mobile network
to benefit its customers and one that will also help it achieve its CO2-reduction objectives,
thanks to the significantly increased energy efficiency of 5G infrastructures.
“We are thrilled to start a new partnership with Nokia to roll out a best-in-class, energy-efficient, and future-proof mobile radio access network in Belgium,” said Orange Belgium CEO Xavier Pichon.
“This will ensure the best user experience for residential and business customers, be it on 2G, 3G, 4G, or 5G.”
After choosing Nokia, Orange Belgium’s corporate financial guidance on its expected benefits and implementation costs of the network remains unchanged.
It attributed this to a RAN sharing agreement with rival Proximus, which has chosen Ericsson to implement a new 5G core network in its cloud infrastructure.
The cloud-native system is based on Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core, which will also be used for the 4G network renewal.