Nokia Networks wins contracts in Saudi Arabia and Channel Islands

Nokia Networks has been on a roll this week, announcing two new network contracts in two very different parts of the world.

The Finland-based equipment manufacturer first announced that it has been selected by Airtel-Vodafone as the sole supplier for its LTE network in the Channel Islands, with services scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2015.

Airtel-Vodafone is a partnership between the India-based Airtel group and Vodafone that today provides 2G and 3G services to around 40,000 people in Jersey and Guernsey and is now looking towards the next generation of mobile services.

"Our 4G network will bring a level of speed and accessibility that will transform the way islanders access the internet," commented Airtel-Vodafone CEO Ian Campbell.

The operator said it is making a "multi-million pound investment" in the Channel Islands to upgrade its services, and Nokia Networks is to provide all the equipment and service support.

In the second deal this week, Nokia Networks has also been contracted by Mobily to expand the Saudi Arabia-based operator's 2G, 3G and LTE networks. The vendor will function as the main radio network supplier, also including TD-LTE radio technologies in the central region for the first time.

In addition, Mobily has commissioned Nokia Networks to manage its network operations for five years. The Finnish vendor has been a managed services partner for Mobily over the last three years, but said the second contract also covers the central region that has been served by other vendors until now.

"Our global best practices in managed services will help Mobily completely focus on its core business without bothering anything about running its multi-technology, multi-vendor networks," said Igor Leprince, executive vice president, Global Services, at Nokia Networks.

The move to push forward its LTE investment plans come at a difficult time for Mobily, however: according to Reuters the company was forced to cut its profits for 2013 and the first half of 2014 by a combined SAR1.43 billion (€305 million/$381.2 million), citing accounting errors.

Parent company Etisalat has also been affected: the UAE-based operator cut its profits by AED162 million (€35 million/$44 million) because of the decision by Mobily to restate 18 months of earnings, Reuters added.

For more:
- see this Nokia Networks release on Airtel-Vodafone
- see this Nokia Networks release on Mobily
- see this Reuters article
- see this separate Reuters article

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Nokia Networks signs $970M TD-LTE deal with China Mobile
Nokia tackles operators' capacity crunches with Liquid Radio
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