Nokia played-down reports it was set to lose a 5G RAN contract with Verizon, after US media speculation the operator was lining up a deal with Samsung.

In a statement, a Nokia representative said although it did not comment on customers’ vendor strategies it was “proud to serve Verizon, and we are committed to continuing to help them build the best, most reliable and highest-performing network”.

“Nokia and Verizon have a long-standing strategic partnership in key technologies across their network with our end-to-end solutions portfolio. We play a critical role in enabling Verizon’s 3G and 4G networks and continue to work with them to accelerate innovation around 5G technology.”

The vendor’s comments follow a report from Rosenblatt financial analyst Ryan Koontz, cited on several investor websites including Seeking Alpha, claiming Verizon was set to replace Nokia with Samsung for its ongoing 5G RAN rollout.

Verizon also uses equipment from Ericsson, with the analyst claiming the Swedish vendor would maintain its 50 per cent share of the 5G contract. Koontz added the Samsung deal would span between five years and seven years, with a value of around $1.5 billion per year.

Rumours of an impending big contract win came hours after Samsung talked-up its progress in the RAN space, announcing forthcoming availability of virtualised 5G network equipment and highlighting its progress in supplying equipment to operators in the US, Japan and South Korea.

Nokia executives have also been adamant it is progressing well in securing 5G deals despite losing out on two lucrative contracts in China. It has since won a slice of China Unicom’s 5G core network tender.