United Group picks Nokia to upgrade core networks in Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia

United Group picks Nokia to upgrade core networks in Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia

Finland-based communications and information technology company Nokia said on Wednesday that it has been chosen by Dutch-based multi-play and media provider United Group to deliver its cloud-native core network products in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.

The agreement makes Nokia the sole core vendor for United Group in the three countries, Nokia said in a statement.

Nokia will provide a host of products, including Subscriber Data Management (SDM) software to securely and reliably control UG network data and integrate multi-vendor and multi-technology environments. According to Nokia, its core products, including Cloud Packet Core, Voice Core, 3G Core and Cloud Infrastructure, will give United Group’s operators the speed, intelligence and security to deliver 5G services while cost-effectively managing the operator’s network.

The core deployments will be rolled out initially for United Group’s 3G and 4G networks on the cloud, via Nokia’s cloud infrastructure, starting by the third quarter of this year. United Group will then roll out 5G non-standalone and standalone services, it said.

"With Nokia’s support we are building Southeast Europe’s best mobile network, one focused on quality, performance, and product innovation. The investments we are making – in both mobile and fixed – will guarantee that United Group’s users always have access to the very best our industry has to offer," Zeljko Batistic, chief technology officer at United Group, said in the statement.

Earlier this year, Nokia said that it has signed a deal with United Group to deploy a next-generation fibre network and in-home mesh Wi-Fi solution across the region of Southeast Europe (SEE). United Group will partner with Nokia to extend its fibre network into new areas and upgrade existing areas with 10 Gbps enabled infrastructure based on XGS-PON, Nokia said back then.

United Group expects to spend more than 500 million euro ($585.6 million) over the next five years to upgrade its existing fibre network and extend it into new areas, the media provider said earlier this year.

At the beginning of 2021, United Group completed the acquisition of Bulgarian multi-platform media company Nova Broadcasting Group in line with its strategy to own both telecommunications and media assets in the markets it serves. In 2020, United Group bought TELE2 Croatia, now renamed Telemach Hrvatska, and Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) which operates under the Vivacom brand. The group is also present in Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Greece.

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