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U.K. Wants Challengers to Nokia and Ericsson for Mobile Networks

UK and its mobile networks have set a goal of carrying 35% of their data through so-called Open RAN equipment by 2030, putting pressure on main vendors Nokia Oyj and Ericsson AB.

The “ambition” to deploy Open RAN components announced, while not mandatory, could limit the market share of the two Nordic vendors. After Britain banned China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd from its next-generation 5G wireless networks last year, they lined up to inherit an effective duopoly.

Open RAN stands for Open Radio Access Network and is an initiative intended to foster new competition.

Open RAN stands for Open Radio Access Network, and it is a competition-fostering project. The Huawei ban exposed the United Kingdom’s reliance on a small number of suppliers, forcing government ministers in an attempt to diversify the supply chain.

Despite the fact that Nokia and Ericsson have shown support for Open RAN, the change creates a significant opportunity for startups and Open RAN vendors such as Airspan Inc. and Rakuten Group Inc.’s Altiostar, since carriers intend to spend the next decade creating 5G networks.

The United Kingdom recently announced that it has made an agreement with its four largest phone companies, BT Group Plc, Vodafone Group Plc, Virgin Media O2 and Three UK, to switch off older 2G and 3G mobile services by 2033. This will make it easier for potential new suppliers to enter the market, save money and energy, and free up airwaves for other purposes. As clients migrate to newer 4G and 5G standards, several operators have already begun declaring their own plans to do so.

Nadine Dorries, the UK’s Culture Secretary, is meeting with White House officials, including Gina Raimondo, the US Commerce Secretary, to discuss diversifying the global telecommunications supply chain and trans-Atlantic data regulation.

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