Nokia is to provide electronics and internet company Xiaomi with its technology as it looks to make good on a promise to expand beyond its core base of telecoms customers.

The Finland-based vendor’s data interconnect solution will link the Chinese company’s seven data centres around Beijing with a fibre network to “effectively create a private cloud”.

Nokia’s Head of China IP and Networks Business Group, Drazen Lukic, said the deal – financial details of which were not disclosed – would address Xiaomi’s “fast-growing traffic demands”.

The contract win was announced as part of Nokia’s pre-Mobile World Congress showcase in Barcelona on Sunday.

Speaking at the event, CEO Rajeev Suri claimed the likes of Xiaomi – what he called “web-scale” companies – “increasingly need what we have to offer”.

Nokia has also won a deal to provide a communications network to Portugal’s national railway infrastructure operator, Suri said.

The CEO predicted that non-telocs would require more than twice as much capacity as its traditional base of network operator customers this year.

Nokia unveiled a new strategy last year that included a focus on selling services to four new non-telco verticals.

Suri said the approach was focused on the world’s “top 4000 large enterprises”.

Noting that the size of deals he expects to make with such businesses will be “much smaller” when compared with selling mobile infrastructure kit to telcos, the

CEO said finding the right salespeople would be Nokia’s biggest challenge.

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