Three has given Nokia Networks a chunk of a €300 million project to upgrade its Ireland mobile network, after acquiring O2's mobile business in the country earlier this year.
Three previously said it would spend €300 million to help deliver superfast 4G mobile data services in Ireland, but the contract with Nokia only includes 2G and 3G infrastructure. However, 4G can't be guaranteed everywhere and 2G and 3G are still needed by 4G users as a failover.
Deployment of the new Nokia technology and hardware will start next month and the project will be completed by 2017, although Three promises customers will start benefiting from the improvements well before then.
David Hennessy, chief technical officer at Three, said: “Nokia Networks has been our technology partner since 2004 and we are delighted to extend this partnership to bring our network to the next level."
As part of the deal Nokia will supply systems based on the high-capacity, scalable and energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for 2G and 3G. It will also modernise the core network with its Liquid Core Open Mobile Softswitch (MSS) and Open Media Gateway (MGW), as well as provide its Subscriber Data Management solution.
In addition Nokia will deploy its cloud-ready OSS system, NetAct, for monitoring, managing and optimising Three's network.