Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has been selected to supply 10% of China Unicom’s 5G core network. The core network is used to perform several functions, bandwidth management, setting up connections, scaling, and securing the network. The 5G network will help in opening up the network to support new software-enabled use cases.
Among the products that Nokia will provide to China Unicom include Session Management, Unified Data Management, and User Plane functions. These products are complemented by NetAct and Data Refinery, which are both deployed on Nokia’s CloudBand. The evolution of cloud architecture and Unified Data Management, a critical component of 5G, will make it possible to manage subscriber services and data more efficiently and cost-effectively. The 5G Service Based Architecture also makes it easy to implement the Session Management Function and is responsible for interacting with subscriber session management and User Plane Function.
The User Plane Function allows subscribers to easily perform packet processing and traffic aggregation closer to the network edge. This helps increase bandwidth efficiencies while reducing costs.
Nokia’s increasing its footprints in China
Nokia says its technologies are already being used in 17% of China Unicom’s VoLTE network. The company says the new deal will further boost the long term relationship that the two companies have had. Nokia found out that it had been awarded a 10% share in China Unicom’s 5G core network at the end of April. Huawei and ZTE will provide the rest of China Unicom’s core network. Nokia did not get any contracts from Chinese telecom companies like China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile to supply network equipment such as masts and antennas. In 2019, many networks in the UK maintained Huawei hardware, citing the high costs associated with other providers like Nokia. This is likely the same reason Chinese networks are sticking to Huawei and ZTE.
In addition to the 5G core network, Nokia will also supply its Cloud Packet Core portfolio, including the Nokia Cloud Mobile Gateway. This product offers a User Plane Function and the 5G standalone Session Management Function.