Nokia, T-Mobile US agree $3.5 billlion deal, world’s first big 5G award

Headquarters of Finnish telecommunication network company Nokia are seen in Espoo, Finland July 26, 2018. (Reuters/Lehtikuva/Mikko Stig)
Updated 30 July 2018
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Nokia, T-Mobile US agree $3.5 billlion deal, world’s first big 5G award

LONDON: T-Mobile US named Nokia to supply it with $3.5 billion in next-generation 5G network gear, the firms said on Monday, marking the world’s largest 5G deal so far and concrete evidence of a new wireless upgrade cycle taking root.
No.3 US mobile carrier T-Mobile — which in April agreed to a merger with Sprint to create a more formidable rival to US telecom giants Verizon and AT&T — said the multiyear supply deal with Nokia will deliver the first nationwide 5G services.
The T-Mobile award is critical to Finland’s Nokia, whose results have been battered by years of slowing demand for existing 4G networks and mounting investor doubts over whether 5G contracts can begin to boost profitability later this year.
5G networks promise to deliver faster speeds for mobile phone users and make networks more responsive and reliable for the eventual development of new industrial automation, medical monitoring, driverless car and other business uses.
But cash-strapped telecom operators around the world have been gun-shy over committing to commercial upgrades of existing networks, with many seeing 5G technology simply as a way to deliver incremental capacity increases instead of new features.
Terms of the deal call for Nokia to supply a range of 5G hardware, software and services that will allow T-Mobile to capitalize on licensed airwave to deliver, broad coverage on 600 megahertz spectrum and ultra high-speed capacity on 28 megahertz airwaves in densely trafficked urban areas, the companies said.
Nokia will supply T-Mobile with its AirScale radio access platform along with cloud-connected hardware, software and acceleration services, they said in a statement.
The network equipment business, which is led by three big players — China’s Huawei, Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson — has struggled with flagging growth since the current generation of 4G mobile equipment peaked in 2015.


Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

Updated 15 February 2019
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Gulf defense spending ‘to top $110bn by 2023’

  • Saudi Arabia and UAE initiatives ‘driving forward industrial defense capabilities’
  • Budgets are increasing as countries pursue modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities

LONDON: Defense spending by Gulf Arab states is expected to rise to more than $110 billion by 2023, driven partly by localized military initiatives by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a report has found.

Budgets are increasing as countries pursue the modernization of equipment and expansion of their current capabilities, according to a report by analytics firm Jane’s by IHS Markit.

Military expenditure in the Gulf will increase from $82.33 billion in 2013 to an estimated $103.01 billion in 2019, and is forecast to continue trending upward to $110.86 billion in 2023.

“Falling energy revenues between 2014 and 2016 led to some major procurement projects being delayed as governments reigned in budget deficits,” said Charles Forrester, senior defense industry analyst at Jane’s.

“However, defense was generally protected from the worst of the spending cuts due to regional security concerns and budgets are now growing again.”

Major deals in the region have included Eurofighter Typhoon purchases by countries including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia is also looking to “localize” 50 percent of total government military spending in the Kingdom by 2030, and in 2017 announced the launch of the state-owned military industrial company Saudi Arabia Military Industries.

Forrester said such moves will boost the ability for Gulf countries to start exporting, rather than purely importing defense equipment.

“Within the defense sector, the establishment of Saudi Arabia Military Industries (SAMI) in 2017 and consolidation of the UAE’s defense industrial base through the creation of Emirates Defense Industries Company (EDIC) in 2014 have helped consolidate and drive forward industrial defense capabilities,” he said.

“This has happened as the countries focus on improving the quality of the defense technological work packages they undertake through offset, as well as increasing their ability to begin exporting defense equipment.”

Regional countries are also considering the use of “disruptive technologies” such as artificial intelligence in defense, Forrester said.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Friday that worldwide outlays on weapons and defense rose 1.8 percent to more than $1.67 trillion in 2018.

The US was responsible for almost half that increase, according to “The Military Balance” report released at the Munich Security Conference and quoted by Reuters.

Western powers were concerned about Russia’s upgrades of air bases and air defense systems in Crimea, the report said, but added that “China perhaps represents even more of a challenge, as it introduces yet more advanced military systems and is engaged in a strategy to improve its forces’ ability to operate at distance from the homeland.”