T-Mobile and Nokia struck a new wireless deal that will see them deploy a 5G network in the United States, the two companies announced earlier today. The agreement, valued at approximately $3.5 billion, will allow T-Mobile to accelerate its 5G buildout efforts while simultaneously strengthening Nokia's presence in the stateside wireless market that's becoming increasingly more competitive with the advent of 5G due to new players such as Samsung who already struck some major partnerships of their own, hence limiting Nokia's commercial potential in the segment.
T-Mobile now agreed to buy an end-to-end 5G solution from Nokia, including its AirScale radio platforms, SON services, CloudBand software, and AirFrame infrastructure announced earlier this year, the company confirmed. The Finnish technology giant will assist T-Mobile in its efforts to deploy a nationwide 5G network based on the 28GHz millimeter-wave band, as well as the firm's vast 600MHz holdings. The mobile service in question will be fully compliant with the 3GPP's 5G New Radio standards, both existing and incoming. The development is in line with T-Mobile's previous vow to continue pursuing 5G on its own while waiting for the U.S. government to conclude its review of its proposed merger with Sprint.
It's presently unclear how the newly disclosed partnership would be affected should the consolidation between the two wireless carriers be greenlit and completed. The only mention of Sprint in today's announcement was made by T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray who said the duo will be able to further accelerate their 5G deployment endeavors once combined, once again suggesting the firm already has a plan to integrate Sprint's spectrum portfolio and infrastructure into its 5G agenda. In the meantime, the two are pursuing the next-generation of connectivity separately, with T-Mobile even filing to participate in the FCC's upcoming mmWave auction in November on its own. The two telecom giants previously said they're hoping their proposed tie-up will be approved by mid-2019.