Telia Inks 5G Network Deals With Ericsson, Nokia

Telia has inked multi-year deals with Nokia and Ericsson to upgrade the telecom operator’s 4G networks to 5G.

Stockholm-based Telia (TLSNF) said that the five-year agreement with Ericsson focuses on Sweden and Estonia, where it will be the sole partner to provide radio access network technology (RAN) to base stations in order to upgrade Telia’s 4G networks to 5G.

According to the deal, 10,000 cellular sites will be upgraded for fast and secure mobile connectivity. Telia has 7 million subscribers in Sweden and Estonia. The 5G technology being deployed will cover all service areas from cloud gaming to remote healthcare and drone delivery, the company added.

“With today’s agreement, we have the foundation in place to develop the most trusted and reliable 5G networks in the Nordics and the Baltics. It is also the start of a multiyear investment in our networks, ramping up fully in 2021,” says Telia CEO Allison Kirkby. “The partnership is truly ‘Made in Sweden’ since we have a long, innovative relationship with Ericsson. Together we have pioneered and enabled communication between people and businesses for decades. One such example is the 5G-powered self-driving electrical bus launched a few weeks ago in Stockholm.”

Telia rolled out its first public 5G network in Finland in 2019, followed by Norway and Sweden earlier this year with Denmark set to launch later this fall. Telia and Ericsson were the first wireless pioneers to launch 4G more than a decade ago. In 2016 the two companies announced a 5G strategic partnership for the world’s first 5G underground mining network deployment, remote-controlled machines and self-driving vehicles.

The five-year partnership with Nokia (NOK) will deploy RAN technology to base stations in Finland to modernize Telia’s 4G network and upgrade it to 5G. The telecom operator will also implement Nokia’s SA 5G Core solution in all its markets.

“Nokia is our sole supplier of 5G standalone core in all markets and of radio network technology in Finland,” Kirby said.

The 5G networks being deployed by Telia in Sweden, Estonia and Finland are powered by 100% renewable electricity.

Shares in Telia have now recouped all of this year’s earlier losses and are now trading 1.3% higher than at the stock of 2020. That’s with a Moderate Sell analyst consensus which breaks down into 2 Sells versus 1 Buy. (See Telia stock analysis on TipRanks)

Looking ahead, the $3.66 average analyst price target implies 17% downside potential over the coming year.

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