Portugal’s MEO signs multi-year 5G RAN deal with Nokia

Finnish kit vendor Nokia and Portuguese telco MEO have announced a multi-year deal that will modernise the telco’s radio access network (RAN) infrastructure.

Armita Satari

July 8, 2024

2 Min Read
Two birds are seen flying over a mobile radio network mast
Source: Nokia

The agreement covers network modernisation, including the replacement of existing 2G and 4G infrastructure, and enhancement of its 5G capabilities. The operator has already sunset its 3G network.

The operator, an Altice brand, has selected Nokia’s AirScale portfolio which uses common Single RAN hardware, software, management and services. The radio baseband products are powered by the vendor’s ReefShark System on Chip (SoC) technology that aim to enhance performance and energy efficiency.

Further, under the contract Nokia will deliver equipment for remote radio heads, Massive MIMO, and basebands solutions both for indoor and outdoor coverage. For optimisation and network assurance, MEO will use Nokia’s MantaRay which is the Self-Organizing Networks (SON) solution and has a built in closed-loop automation and machine learning.

Additionally, the telco will leverage Nokia's Global Delivery Centre in Portugal for complete project delivery and support services. The pair say this collaboration will tap into a highly skilled talent pool, cutting-edge tools, and operational capabilities. MEO will also benefit from Nokia's 5G research and development centre in Portugal. The announcement says the centre fosters innovation for 5G and future technologies.

"As a market leader, we are committed to continuously improving our network and always providing the best experience for our customers” said José Pedro Nascimento, Chief Technology Officer of MEO. “Our partnership with Nokia has already resulted in impressive projects, and we are excited to continue working together to fully realize the potential of 5G technology. This modernization will enable us to bring in exciting possibilities and generate new value for both individuals and businesses.”

Nokia’s Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks, further added "MEO is a leading telecommunications operator in Portugal, known for delivering innovative solutions to its customers. We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with this important and long-standing customer through this significant agreement. Together, we aim to unlock the potential of 5G to support the digital transformation of industries and redefine customer experiences."

This announcement follows news from May in which it was speculated that the vendor was set to replace Huawei as the Portuguese network’s 5G RAN. That again had followed announcements from Portugal’s cybersecurity council that the country will implement the EU’s 5G security toolbox, back in 2023.

The implementation of the 5G toolbox will see the phasing out of Chinese vendors from EU’s mobile networks, a move that is considered controversial as it discriminates against vendors by their national origins.

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