Wednesday 29 May 2019 1:23 pm

Softbank names Nokia as 5G supplier after shunning long-term partner Huawei

Softbank has chosen Nokia to supply equipment for its 5G network, in the latest blow for Chinese telecoms firm Huawei.

Softbank, which operates a mobile network in its home country of Japan, today said it will use Nokia technology in non-core parts of its 5G network, which is set to launch next year.

Read more: Nokia could benefit from Huawei saga, says chief executive

The move follows reports last year that the Japanese conglomerate would replace all Huawei equipment in its 4G network due to security fears.

The change of suppliers has brought to an end a long-running partnership between Softbank and Huawei and is a further setback for the Chinese firm, which faces allegations its equipment could be used for spying.

A string of key suppliers, including Softbank-owned chip designer Arm, have suspended trading with Huawei over the last week after the firm was added to a US trade blacklist.

Last week Nokia’s chief executive said the Finnish company could benefit from the crackdown on Huawei, as US restrictions send shockwaves down the supply chain.

Read more: Huawei steps up lawsuit against US federal government

John Harrington, head of Nokia Japan, said: “We are delighted to continue our long-term relationship with Softbank and to be working with them as a trusted end to end partner at such an important milestone in the transformation to 5G.”

The deal takes Nokia’s total 5G commercial contracts to 38, including 20 with named customers. Softbank has also signed a deal with Ericsson, which will supply radio access network equipment for the Japanese firm.