Nokia has attracted increased interest in its next-generation telecoms equipment in recent weeks, helping it to move ahead of rival Huawei in total 5G orders, one of the Finnish company's directors said.
With 42 commercial 5G orders, Nokia has edged ahead of Huawei and Ericsson, Nokia director Federico Guillen said, as the companies jostle for position in a market in which US-driven security concerns over Chinese equipment have boosted the attraction of Nordic vendors.
Huawei has struck an estimated 40 commercial 5G orders. Swedish rival Ericsson has publicly announced 19 contracts, of which eight are live.
Customers are increasingly looking to Nokia to equip their next-generation core networks, either to have dual sourcing for the most sensitive parts of their networks or to replace existing providers, Guillen said.
"It's a little early to quantify that, but in recent weeks we are starting to see that happening," Guillen, president of customer operations, told Reuters.
Guillen said there has been particular interest from European countries that have been debating the role of Chinese vendors in their networks.
"Where we are starting to see traction is in countries where there are debates," Guillen said.
Nokia said 22 of its 5G deals are with named customers such as T-Mobile, Telia and Softbank. It has won 12 new 5G orders since late March.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki and Douglas Busvine; Editing by David Goodman)