Nokia has recently signed a deal with BT to become the company’s largest provider of equipment, including antennas and additional base stations to give EE customers the ability to transmit data and make calls via BT’s 5G radio access network.

The move has replaced Huawei with Nokia in both BT’s 4G and 2G networks after the UK government announced that all of the mobile providers in the UK would not be permitted to purchase new Huawei 5G equipment after the end of 2020.

BT’s growing infrastructure

The government has confirmed that the decision was made for national security reasons, ending Huawei and BT’s 15-year partnership. At the moment, Nokia’s 5G kit provides coverage for EE customers across the Midlands, London and several rural locations, but the new deal is said to extend the installation of BT’s telecoms infrastructure products to numerous other towns and cities across the UK, including York, Southampton, Exeter, Dundee, Cambridge and Aberdeen.

Is BT’s second deal approaching?

Once Huawei’s kit is completely eradicated, BT is expected to strike another deal to purchase hardware from a second company in order to avoid being reliant on Nokia alone. Philip Jansen, the chief executive of BT, said: “With this next stage of our successful relationship with Nokia, we will continue to lead the rollout of fixed and mobile networks to deliver stand-out experiences for customers.”

BT had previously chosen Ericsson to replace their equipment from Huawei in its network’s most sensitive areas that route voice calls and data between servers so that they can reach the correct destination.

Ericsson is expected to be chosen as BT’s second supplier of radio access network kits, but it is not able to provide as many base stations and 5G masts as Nokia. Nokia and BT are due to develop a unique ‘OpenRan ecosystem’ in the next few years.

What will this mean for the world as we know it?

It is thought that the use of 5G will see a true merging of the digital and physical world, which we currently experience as two separate entities. It is predicted that 5G will be adopted into the most economically advanced countries – including America and the UK, within the next five years. But what will this mean for the world as we know it?


We can expect a much more personalised and tailored shopping experience once we start making use of 5G.

Enabling VR and AR-based systems in shops will give customers the opportunity to view an item of clothing on themselves, or see exactly how a piece of furniture will complement the rest of their house, for example. If you don’t like what you see, you’ll be offered an alternative with a simple command or gesture.

Looking even further into the future, it has been predicted that 5G will enable self-driving shopping carts, eliminating the need for physical food shopping.


Rather than having to seek healthcare from doctor’s surgeries or hospitals, 5G will encourage the use of devices at home, which will be capable of managing and monitoring any life-threatening conditions, for example, diabetes.

People may also be offered devices that are able to detect any issues with their health, and only then will they feel the need to speak to a doctor.

Ambulances may be able to interact with the traffic network to ensure that their path is clear of traffic lights, and people have even predicted the use of robotic surgeries, which will be particularly useful in rural areas.


The main shift in entertainment will be the movement from 2D to 3D. We will no longer watch TV on a screen, but instead within a virtual set, and sports may be filmed using 3D cameras, giving people the impression that they are physically involved in the action without having to buy tickets to stadiums and matches.

Entertainment will be interactive, allowing people to interact with their favourite film characters, watching the action from new angles.

All in all, 5G technology has the potential to dramatically change our futures, in all aspects of life. Whether this will be for the better or for the worst, we are yet to see.

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Image by Jackson David on Unsplash