Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
10,704.80-135.85
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Ericsson, Nokia assure telcos of speedy 5G rollout

Any potential exclusion of Huawei is likely to open up big revenue opportunities for Ericsson and Nokia.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 01, 2019, 03.16 PM IST
0Comments
Ericsson and Nokia are learnt to have assured key clients, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, of speedy 5G network rollouts after the spectrum allotment, in a scenario if China’s Huawei is barred from supplying 5G gear in India on security grounds, people familiar with the matter said.

Any potential exclusion of Huawei is likely to open up big revenue opportunities for both European vendors which have upped their ante in lobbying to step into the Chinese 5G gear maker’s shoes, although they would have to stave off a challenge from Samsung, which will also try to fill any potential gap created if Huawei is barred. ET had reported that both Airtel and Vodafone Idea have started engaging with Samsung.

At present, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia are the Big 3 network vendors in India, while Samsung only supplies to Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Analysts though said that Huawei’s absence could delay 5G rollouts by at least a year besides increasing deployment costs as exclusion of a major global network vendor would choke competition and raise gear procurement costs for telcos.

Ericsson and Nokia, however, have underlined their dominance of commercial 5G network buildouts currently underway across the world, and are confident of supporting their top telco clients in India in their future 5G deployments, with or without Huawei.

“Ericsson has the resources and the supply chain capacity to meet a fast ramp-up of market demand as 5G is introduced globally, including India, and we stand ready to meet our current and future customers’ 5G needs and work with them at speed to get such networks operational at the earliest opportunity,” a spokesperson of the Swedish gear maker told ET in a written response.

Ericsson though said the pace of 5G rollouts in India “would depend on the deployment plans of the service providers”.

A senior Nokia executive, in turn, said that with its leadership in 4G and transport network solutions in India, it is confident of its readiness to support Indian telcos in implementing their 5G strategies as well.

“Nokia has deployed over 1.3 lakh new sites across India in calendar 2018, and with our huge deployment machinery, we are prepared to support our customers in launching 5G networks as soon as possible,” said a Nokia spokeswoman.

Analysts estimate a telco, typically, needs to invest around $5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) for a selective 5G rollout, and any potential exclusion of Huawei from selling 5G gear in India, could push up deployment costs by $750 million-$1 billion (Rs 5,250-7,000 crore).

telco-info2
“A market dominated by two global suppliers of 5G gear (read: Ericsson and Nokia), instead of three, would limit competition and increase 5G network rollout costs for Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel by around 15-20%, but this could eventually be contained to under 10%, if Samsung emerges as a strong No 3 supplier of 5G gear in India,” Rajiv Sharma, co-head of research at SBICap Securities, told ET.

At press-time, Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Samsung did not reply to ET’s queries.

Huawei India executives though said excluding the Chinese vendor from the 5G supply chain in India would increase network procurement costs for telcos and make 5G services more expensive for consumers.

“Huawei is 12-to-18 months ahead of the industry on 5G, and can deploy 5G networks in India’s key cities in just a year, given the rapidly maturing 5G ecosystem,” said a top Huawei India executive.

Any potential move to ban Huawei from India’s 5G market, he said, would pose serious challenges in bridging the technology gap, and would inevitably hinder progress of 5G in India.

The Modi government is yet to take a call on Huawei’s participation in 5G trials and eventual deployments even while phone companies have sought clarity before taking a long-term view on investment decisions since billions of dollars would be at stake in greenfield 5G rollouts.

The US, which on May 21 had barred Huawei’s products from its market and stopped US companies from supplying software and components to the Chinese company, has been pressing India and others to bar the company from their 5G development and deployment, citing concerns of Chinese surveillance on these networks.

Also Read

Nokia leads in updating its smartphones, Samsung 2nd

Software upgrade alert: Android 10 to soon arrive on all Nokia devices

Nokia plans to unveil affordable, 5G phone next year

Nokia 7.2 images leaked ahead of IFA 2019

Nokia may withdraw support to BSNL over payment dues

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times News App for Quarterly Results, Latest News in ITR, Business, Share Market, Live Sensex News & More.

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service