Nokia snags private enterprise networks deal with A1 in Austria

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A1 Austria is planning to make private networks available nationwide. (Getty Images)

Nokia secured a deal to provide network services for all of A1’s new and existing private LTE and 5G enterprise deployments in Austria.

As part of the three-year contract, which started earlier in 2020, Nokia will deliver operational support to ensure quality of services and meet service level agreement (SLA) requirements.

The Finnish vendor said that along with the contract for services, it’s providing A1 Austria infrastructure and software to set up private LTE networks. That spans a micro core network, AirFrame servers, small or macro cells, and professional services.

It’s not immediately clear how many private enterprise networks A1 already has in Austria, although Nokia pointed to three deployments including Magna Steyr, Vienna Airport and 5G Playground Carinthia.

A1 Austria is planning to make private networks available nationwide and is one of Nokia’s global lead customers for network slicing technology, the vendor said.

RELATED: Nokia expands private wireless platform

Nokia introduced a 4G/5G end-to-end network slicing product in February and extended “extreme automation” capabilities last month. That enables automation to create, modify or delete a large number of slices in different multivendor domains.

“As operators like A1 Austria diversify their portfolios with new services and business innovation to digitalize industries, Nokia is in place to deliver proven expertise in the deployment and operation of business-critical private network solutions,” said Friedrich Trawöger, head of Operate and Managed Services at Nokia, in a statement. “We have had significant success on a number of executed projects with A1 in Austria and this deal will further position both companies as leaders in the private LTE and 5G domain.”  

RELATED: Nokia adds ‘extreme automation’ capabilities to 4G/5G network slicing

Nokia’s new chief executive announced a structural reorganization, with new groups that will go into effective at the start of 2021.  During third quarter earnings Nokia disclosed that it lost share at a large North American customer and regaining and maintaining a lead in 5G is one of the vendor’s main focuses going forward.

It was rumored earlier this year that Nokia was losing Verizon business, and the carrier ended up awarding a $6.6 billion network contract to Samsung.

Verizon is however partnering with the vendor on private networks for international customers. The carrier plans to use Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud (NDAC) tools to market private 5G network solutions to enterprise customers in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

When it comes to private wireless networks, Nokia has been vocal about the opportunity for enterprises and has gone both through carrier partners and business customers directly. It has more than 220 enterprise customers with private wireless networks globally, with the majority spanning verticals such as energy, mining, logistics and transportation.

RELATED: Verizon puts private 5G in focus with Nokia, Microsoft partnerships

In the U.S. private networks have gained attention for security and reliability on enterprise campuses, as well as easier access with newly available spectrum in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band.

Speaking to Fierce last month, Nokia’s head of business development for private wireless Dustin Lamascus said he expects CBRS’ acceleration of wireless deployments to continue in 2021 in the U.S., which is where between 30-40% of the vendor’s deployments have been.

Article updated to increase the number of Nokia's enterprise customers with private wireless networks from 180 to 220, as of November 10.