Nokia: Ericsson Isn’t Surpassing Us


Aug. 9 2018, Updated 11:40 a.m. ET

Verizon handed more business to Ericsson

Shortly before Nokia (NOK) released its second-quarter results, Ericsson (ERIC) put out an announcement saying that it had won more business from Verizon (VZ). Since Verizon has been known to be a prominent Nokia customer, the announcement that Verizon was giving more of its business to Ericsson led to questions about whether Nokia was losing ground to its main competitor.

Nokia has weighed in on the speculation that it may be losing market share to Ericsson, saying that while Ericsson may have won more business from Verizon, Nokia still has a strong position with Verizon.

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Nokia and Verizon working closely on 5G

In a discussion that followed the release of Nokia’s second-quarter results, CEO Rajeev Suri said that Nokia and Verizon were working together closely on the development of 5G (fifth-generation) technology. Verizon is planning to begin rolling out 5G services in select markets before the end of the year. AT&T (T) has a similar plan, but it’s looking at a broader rollout as it aims to launch its 5G services in up to 12 markets.

Sacramento, California, is one of Verizon’s target markets for its 5G rollout. The company has signed Samsung (SSNLF) to supply equipment for the project. US regulators have cleared Samsung to supply the systems Verizon needs for its Sacramento 5G project.

Helping Nokia cut costs

In February, Nokia announced that it was collaborating with Intel to test a technology that it said had the potential to help Verizon cut capital and operational expenditures for its network.

Nokia and Ericsson are in a race to supply American mobile network operators with 5G solutions, so how they interact with these mobile operators ahead of 5G deployment is being closely watched.

Nokia’s overall revenue fell 5.0% year-over-year to $6.1 billion in the second quarter.


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