Ericsson has been selected by U.K. carrier O2 to deploy its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) to upgrade existing 2G/3G/4G sites as part of a network modernization program.
Following the launch of O2’s 5G commercial network in October last year, the extended partnership with Ericsson includes hardware, software and service upgrades in the western region of the U.K., the vendor said in a release.
“We are pleased to be moving forward with Ericsson as one of our primary vendors for our 5G rollout,” said Brendan O’Reilly, CTO of O2. “Telecommunications has never been more important in keeping the country connected, and we look forward to bringing the enhanced capabilities of 5G to our customers.”
Some of the solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio will be used in the deployment, which include new multi-band and wide-band 5G radios as well as new 5G-optimized basebands to build sustainable sites in preparation for future increases in 5G coverage and capacity.
As part of the extended collaboration between Ericsson and O2, an innovation cluster will also be developed as a collaboration platform to evaluate and test future mobile architecture, technology and systems as O2 intends to migrate to 5G Standalone (SA) architecture.
Ericsson also said that it will continue to support O2 with the rollout of commercial 5G in other cities, towns and locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“5G will be crucial for the U.K.’s economic recovery and underpin its digital future. We are committed to ensuring that the UK achieves its gigabit connectivity targets so that enterprises and society at large benefit from high quality connectivity. We are delighted to be continuing our long-term partnership with O2 with this 5G network evolution,” said Arun Bansal, president of Europe and Latin America at Ericsson.
Ericsson currently has 93 commercial 5G contracts with unique communications service providers globally, of which 50 are publicly announced 5G deals. Ericsson currently has 40 live 5G networks in 22 countries.
O2 launched its 5G network in the U.K. in October 2019. O2’s 5G network was initially available in certain areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds. The carrier said that the initial focus for its 5G network is on highly populated areas including railway stations, shopping centers and sports stadiums.
O2 had also partnered with Finnish vendor Nokia for the rollout of its 5G network.
The telco said its 5G network is now live in areas of 60 towns and cities across the UK, beating its original target of 50 cities by Summer 2020.
The telco said it has recently activated its 5G servce in in areas of Aberdeen, Brighton and Oxford.