Is Nokia really the big Huawei-replacer at BT?

Could Ericsson yet be the dominant player in BT's great Huawei swap-out?

The vast majority of the Huawei base station sites that BT has to swap out are not included in yesterday’s release heralding Nokia as BT’s "largest infrastructure provider".

That could potentially be leaving the door open for BT to announce Ericsson as a winner in most major UK cities that currently rely on Huawei for coverage, including the capital London, but also Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and others.

Let’s have a go at the numbers.

Reuters reported that the vendor had won “63% of the BT contract, or about 11,600 radio sites.” TMN has been told by two senior sources at BT and one at Nokia that this is a correct number for the amount of sites the vendor will have within the BT estate. The percentage is roughly correct too (it's marginally lower as a number of sites).

We also have reason to believe that prior to BT needing to replace Huawei, Nokia had about 8,000 of a total 19,000 sites, a fairly recent number that includes about a thousand extra sites added for BT’s ESN network in rural areas. Huawei had the remainder.

So if Nokia is going to have 11,600 sites as a result of this deal, then it has added at most about 4000 sites to its existing footp

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