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Vodafone Hutchison Australia customers will soon enjoy the benefits of 5G technology with the announcement today that Vodafone has partnered with Nokia to commence the roll out of its 5G network in the first half of 2020.

Vodafone’s Chief Executive Officer, Iñaki Berroeta, said the new partnership paved the way for VHA to deliver 5G to its customers.

“This is an exciting milestone in Vodafone’s 5G network rollout,” he said.

“We have worked with Nokia for several years across different elements of our network. They presented a compelling roadmap that aligned with our 5G objectives and will help us to continue improving our 4G network for our customers.

“Their knowledge of our network is extensive, and they are in the best position to ensure a seamless transition and that we reach our 5G goals as soon as possible while maintaining the best experience for our 4G customers.”

The partnership with Nokia has also enabled Vodafone to fast track its 5G delivery and to switch on its first group of 5G sites in and around Paramatta in the coming months. The sites originally made up a test network which Nokia used to demonstrate its technology but are now set to become the first area of commercial coverage for Vodafone’s 5G network and will soon be available to Vodafone customers with a compatible 5G device.

Federico Guillén, President, Customer Operations EMEA & APAC at Nokia, said Nokia was pleased to be further strengthening its relationship with Vodafone Hutchison Australia.

“We are delighted to be working closer with Vodafone Hutchison Australia on transforming its network to deliver superior 5G services to its customers,” he said.

“We started our 5G journey with Vodafone in 2016 and are now moving from trials to reality. Nokia’s end-to-end portfolio has a key role to play here, with this deal including 5G radio access network (RAN), IP/Optical, Microwave, deployment and managed services, as well as software.”

Mr Berroeta said the partnership was the final step in a long process following the Federal Government’s security guidance in August 2018.

“We have been preparing for the evolution of 5G for a long time,” he said.

“Our focus has always been to deliver the best possible mobile service for our customers. With 5G devices only just starting to become more widely available, now is the right time to start rolling out 5G. We’re excited to continue this journey with Nokia.”

The agreement between Vodafone and Nokia is for a term of at least 5 years and enables Vodafone to place orders with Nokia for site delivery, thus allowing Vodafone to scale up or down the pace of its 5G rollout according to its requirements. 

Nokia presented an advanced 5G Roadmap that will enable 5G for Vodafone in all the spectrum bands currently in use for 4G, and implementation of new generation 5G Massive MIMO antennas, delivering substantially increased gains in capacity and performance.

Vodafone plans to begin the rollout of its 5G services in the first half of 2020.