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Nokia and U Mobile have signed a three-year contract to deploy a Nokia Single Radio Access Network (RAN) network as well as microwave and IP-based mobile transport technologies to enable U Mobile to expand the delivery of mobile data services across Malaysia. Both companies, via a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), will also collaborate on a 5G live network trial later this year.

A recent market report predicts that mobile data usage in Malaysia will double during 2017-2022 to 10.4 GB per user per month, primarily driven by the rising consumption of online video content on smartphones. As a current provider of 3G and 4G mobile services via a combination of its own network and through a RAN sharing agreement, U Mobile wants to extend its network coverage and capacity to address this growing demand with a range of competitive services.

Under the three-year agreement, Nokia will deploy a Single RAN Advanced network in greenfield locations across Malaysia, facilitating U Mobile's aggressive network expansion and drive to provide customers with a superior data experience. With this deployment it also means customers all across Malaysia will be able to further enjoy U Mobile's unlimited innovations.

Additionally, Nokia and U Mobile recently signed a MoU to conduct a trial of the 5G live network. The trial will be done later this year and will demonstrate the 5G capability of enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) as well as other 5G use cases such as in the fields of virtual reality (VR) and e-sports. The Single RAN Advanced Network, which is currently installed at U Mobile and using Nokia's AirScale base stations, is 5G-ready.

To date, Nokia has signed 37 5G commercial contracts across the world, including 20 with named customers. Nokia continues to actively work on 5G use cases with manufacturing hubs and agricultural regions.