United Group announced today that it is partnering with Nokia to upgrade its cloud native mobile core network, making improvements to quality, capacity and security that will support the introduction of next-generation digital services across Southeast Europe, including new enhanced 5G services for both residential and business customers.

Among other core-native network products, Nokia is providing software to manage critical network functionality, delivering advantages such as enormous increases in speed for a superior user experience while at the same time ensuring the security of user data.

Nokia’s upgrades will also allow United Group’s mobile operators – Vivacom in Bulgaria and Telemach in Croatia and Slovenia – to realise massive connectivity for the burgeoning number of devices that require an internet connection as well as ultrareliable network connections to support the applications and services that are critical to the digital transformation of modern industry.

The upgrades are part of a five-year plan of more than €900 million in investments that United Group, the leading provider of telecommunications and media in the region, is making to modernise both its mobile and fixed networks in order to deliver superior connectivity and advanced products and services to millions of new and existing customers.

United Group expects developments such as Gbps mobile connectivity, low latency-based services, enhanced data plans, and fixed-wireless access to be key drivers in coming years of both digitalisation and competitiveness in the markets it serves.

The enhancements will also ensure United Group’s operators comfortably meet all network security requirements in each of their respective countries.

The agreement expands the relationship between Nokia and United Group after the Dutch-based company earlier this year selected Nokia to support its rollout of a next-generation fibre network across Southeast Europe that will be the most advanced in the region.

United Group Vice President Technology Željko Batistić: “The surge in connected devices and all the demands that mobile users have today require a powerful wireless network that can transfer large volumes of data fast, securely and with very low latency. With Nokia’s support we are building Southeast Europe’s best mobile network, one focused on quality, performance, and product innovation. The investments we are making – in both mobile and fixed – will guarantee that United Group’s users always have access to the very best our industry has to offer.”

Mikko Lavanti, Vice President, Head of Central Europe & Central Asia, said: “Nokia is delighted to further support United Group’s strong market position in Southeast Europe. Nokia’s market leading core portfolio continues to demonstrate its breadth, reliability and innovation using true cloud capabilities and centralized or distributed deployment. We look forward to delivering United Group and its customers superior network performance and scale.”

The core deployments will be rolled out initially for United Group’s 3G, 4G and 5G networks on the cloud, starting by the third quarter of this year.