Sweden-based operator group Tele2 tapped Nokia to provide a standalone (SA) 5G core network for its home market ahead of the country’s spectrum auction, which prohibits operators from using kit made by ZTE or Huawei.

In a statement, the operator said the contract also covers deployment of an SA 5G core and facilities to enable voice-over-5G in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Installation of the infrastructure is expected to take several years and will start later in 2021.

President of Nokia cloud and network services Raghav Sahgal said the deal built on a long-standing relationship with the operator stemming back to the 1990s.

Tele2 launched non-standalone 5G in parts of Sweden in 2020 using existing spectrum, though will have to wait for the completion of the country’s delayed spectrum auction before being able to achieve nationwide availability.

Nokia’s win on the home turf of rival Ericsson comes as the company embarks on a sweeping restructure in an attempt to focus on key business areas and make up lost ground in the global vendor 5G market.