Mobile, Ericsson sign major USD 3.5Bn 5G agreement

Alfred Osborne
September 13, 2018

Nokia NOKIA.HE announced in July that it had agreed on an equally big deal with T-Mobile US.

T-Cell and Ericsson have signed a $Three.5 billion settlement to manufacture out T-Cell's 5G infrastructure. On the same day, Verizon, along with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, announced the completion of an end-to-end call with a smartphone form factor test device on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network in Minneapolis.

Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of business area networks at Ericsson, said: "Our radio expertise and knowledge in network architecture, end-user applications and standardisation work put us in an excellent position to understand the requirements 5G places on transport".

The Swedish telecom giant said it will support T-Mobile USA Inc.'s nationwide 5G deployment and expand the American company's existing LTE capacity needs while "future-proofing" the network. Verizon will also have a 5G phone around that time thanks to the 5G Moto Mod for the Moto Z3. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 could be the first smartphone to support the technology as early as this year, but it may be unrealistic to expect it to work properly in the United States.

Ubiquitous transport solutions for both 4G and 5G are gaining strong momentum with service providers and Ericsson's flagship mobile backhaul product - Router 6000 - empowers close to 60 operators.

"With both companies bringing together industry-leading network technology, we and Ericsson will be able to more effectively capitalise on the vast global market opportunity in front of us and help our customers simplify their journey to fully operational 5G networks", he added.

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All four major United States operators have advanced 5G roadmaps with the first services due to go live later this year.

"With this new Ericsson agreement we're laying the groundwork for 5G - and with Sprint we can supercharge the 5G revolution", T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said in a statement.

"We have recently chose to increase our investments in the U.S. to be closer to our leading customers and better support them with their accelerated 5G deployments; thereby bringing 5G to life for consumers and enterprises across the country", added Niklas Heuveldop, Ericsson's North American chief. "Together with our partners we are continuing to prove the readiness of both the underlying technology and the ecosystem".

The two companies say the deal is worth $3.5 billion. The partners have successfully demonstrated Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR) interoperability using 39 GHz spectrum - the frequency band that 5G services in North America will be introduced on.

While Nokia's performance has come as a disappointment to shareholders so far in 2018 - with earnings marked by a fall in profitability - CEO Rajeev Suri has continued to insist that 5G business will start to buoy figures toward the end of the current financial year. Ericsson and Nokia will compete with Huawei, Samsung and others for the right to provide operators around the world with next-generation network equipment.

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