6 June 2018 – ice group’s Norwegian operation, ice, has signed a contract with Nokia that provides the framework to facilitate further network build-out in Norway at very favourable terms for ice.
Today’s news follows the announcement in early May when ice entered into a new national roaming agreement (NRA) in Norway. The improved NRA offers a higher level of flexibility and more favourable conditions with regards to effectuating further network build-out.
“When we build out, the new and improved Nokia-agreement positions us for a more accretive business plan. Additionally, an expanded and improved network will enable a larger proportion of on-net traffic through our own network. This will benefit both our investors and customers,” says Eivind Helgaker, managing director of ice in Norway.
The new agreement between ice and Nokia provides a favourable framework to collaborate on further expanding ice’s current 4G LTE smartphone network. Under the agreement, Nokia is set to deploy its AirScale Radio Access technology to optimise LTE performance and provide the best coverage and capacity to ice’s subscribers as well as opening a path for a future transition to 5G. The agreement also covers network planning, site acquisition, civil works, deployment and support.
“This agreement offers significantly better terms compared to our previous build-out phase. Nokia presented the best offer both when it comes to commercial terms, technology and operational support. In total, this enables us to cost effectively and quickly conduct further smartphone network build-out in Norway,” adds Helgaker.
Today, ice provides 80 percent population coverage through its own 4G smartphone and data network. The rest of the population is served by the NRA. In addition, ice operates a 4G network mobile broadband network with 75 percent geographical coverage across mainland Norway.
“We are managing infrastructure that is critical in order to deliver top experiences for our customers specifically, but also supporting Norwegian authorities’ objective about securing national infrastructure and security. Hence, it is important that our network is deployed with a different network supplier than the two other nationwide operators. Today, ice is the only Norwegian network operator that solely uses Nokia as network and infrastructure supplier,” adds Helgaker.
Recently, ice announced that it had reached a total of 500,000 customers, thereby confirming its challenger position in the Norwegian telecom market. Its parent, ice group, has also proposed structural plans to facilitate a more focused approach to its future operations, meaning that the future ice group AS will consist of its operations in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, only.
“The new and improved NRA, the proposed restructuring of ice group and the Nokia agreement are all interlinked by a strategy to provide ice with the necessary tools to further grow its customer base in Norway,” says JD Fouchard, CEO of ice group.