Nokia is set to become a major beneficiary of Huawei being blocked from the UK’s 5G networks, making it the largest equipment provider to the network.

Nokia announced today that it had signed a deal extending its relationship with BT. As a part of the partnership, Nokia will help to expand BT’s radio access network to 5G by providing equipment and services at BT radio sites, such as its AirScale base stations and antennas.

BT has already used Nokia equipment in London, the Midlands and some rural locations, but this will extend their partnership across the UK. The deal will also see Nokia replace Huawei in BT’s 2G and 4G networks

The UK government announced in July that all UK mobile network providers would be prevented from buying Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December 2020 and must also remove all the Chinese firm’s 5G hardware from their networks by 2027.

The decision, which was taken on national security grounds, effectively ended the relationship between BT and Huawei that dated back to 2005.

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