China Mobile is currently the largest operator in the world, and it is in the process of extending its 5G network. The 5.2 billion dollars big tender just finished, and Nokia missed it. The majority of the tender, 88.5% went to the Chinese companies, and just 11.5% went to Nokia’s Scandinavian competitor, Ericsson. Huawei got 57.3 % value of the tender, ZTE 28.7% while China Information Communication Technologies (a merger of domestic equipment companies FiberHome Technologies and Datang Telecom Group in 2018) got 2.6 %.
This comes as a surprise since China Mobile chose Nokia and Ericsson besides Huawei for the majority of the 5G business for the first tender back in 2019.
China Mobile is currently doing the second phase of the 5G rollout with the plan to extend the coverage nationwide with approximately 232,000 base stations.
Nokia struggled to gain market share in China and even excluded the market from its future outlook at the end of 2019. Anyway, some might say that Nokia was getting to close with the US and that China is responding to that relationship by avoiding Nokia as an equipment and software supplier for its largest operator.
This is definitely not good news, and kind of hope this was April’s fool joke. Probably isn’t, but Nokia has sisu, the ability to survive the harsh times.