EE has partnered up with Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) to collaborate on its 4G expansion.
The UK's largest operator had been working with Huawei for the first phase of its rollout, but the Finnish firm will step in to continue work on the remaining 25%. Huawei will still continue the work on the areas it's covered so far.
Earlier this month it was reported that the operator had inked a new network share agreement with Three, but this new deal for NSN will be solely with EE as the company looks for network differentiation.
NSN will implement its Single RAN advanced solution, allowing EE to use a single piece of multi-purpose hardware to run multiple radio technologies. NSN will use its high-capacity Flexi Multiradion 10 Base Stations as well as its cloud-ready NetAct 'for efficient network management across technologies'. An IP security solution will also be provided by NSN for safe communication between LTE base stations and EE's network.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: ‘We have pioneered 4G in the UK, and we are now working with NSN on the next stage of our rollout, covering the next 25% of the UK population in rural areas and small towns. This partnership highlights our approach to maintaining a differentiated 4G network experience. We will continue to lead our UK competitors in speed, coverage, and reliability.
‘We have selected NSN because of their technology, their people, and because of their ability to provide a high quality end-to-end services model. We look forward to working together as we continue to give people across the UK access to the biggest and fastest 4G mobile network.’
NSN CEO Rajeev Suri said: ‘There is great momentum in LTE adoption in Europe and worldwide with ever-growing numbers of subscribers using data-hungry services. As a long-term partner of EE and the sole provider of the operator’s existing high-quality 3G network, NSN is now enabling EE to move ahead with confidence using the best technology and services for next-generation mobile broadband networks. EE will also benefit from NSN's significant experience in spectrum efficiency research when refarming current 2G spectrum for 4G with NSN’s support.’
Ovum practice leader industry of communication and broadband, Steven Hartley, added: ‘EE’s 4G LTE roll-out has been impressively fast. Given the presence of NSN base stations in EE’s 2G and 3G network, it is logical for EE to opt for NSN’s Single RAN solution.’