Nokia China bounces back from 5G flop with hyperscale scores

Tencent and Baidu sign for optical data center interconnect kit

Nokia has scored data centre interconnect wins with Chinese web giants Tencent and Baidu.

The win comes against the background of an April 2020 open letter by the CEO of Nokia Bell - Nokia’s Chinese outpost - that more-or-less apologised for missing out in a $5bn 5G tender at China Mobile.

Missing out was a surprise because Nokia had already provided kit for other parts of the giant carrier’s 5G networks and because Ericsson managed to win a slice of the tender.

Nokia knows that it faces an uphill battle in China because buyers favor local vendors and that’s the way China’s government likes it. But missing out on the deal was an unexpected reversal of fortune.

CEO Ma Boze’s letter skirted that issue and re-affirmed Nokia’s intentions to remain a good partner and supplier to Chinese companies.

And now the Finnish company can point to a pair of lovely fresh purchase orders to prove its intentions, because Tencent and Baidu have each signed for data center interconnect solutions that will enhance their software-networking capabilities. While details of the deals are scanty, Nokia says the new kit will deliver “dynamic, massive-scale optical bandwidth needed to support growing cloud operations in China and the US.”

Note the mention of the US, which is currently more than a little hostile to Chinese technology. Which matters because Tencent targets gamers everywhere and is expanding its enterprise cloud. And now it can say it's doing so with tech from a trusted European firm. ®

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