Ericsson and Taiwanese operator Far EasTone (FET) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand their 5G partnership, Ericsson said in a release.    

As part of the agreement, Ericsson will support the expansion of FET’s 5G Lab to conduct new advanced technology trials and demonstrations, such as 5G network slicing, edge computing, private networks, fixed wireless access and network exposure functions.

A joint AI Lab for network automation performance and efficiency trials will also be constructed. In addition, the Taiwanese telco is set to take part in the Ericsson Startup 5G program, which introduces operators to technology innovation partners to develop next-generation 5G consumer use cases. FET will be able to tap into Ericsson’s ConsumerLab research and analytical data, as well as gain access to a worldwide network of 5G startups.

“Far EasTone is pushing forward with 5G deployment to enable more applications with Big Data, AI, IoT technologies, through collaboration with partners in the ecosystem,” said Chee Ching, president of Far EasTone.

“With this MoU, I look forward to more collaboration and synergy between the two companies. I believe together we can offer not only a robust and premium 5G network, but also many innovative services for consumers and enabling smart solutions that will help various industries transform,” the executive added.         

Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and head of networks at Ericsson, said: “Far EasTone has been an important partner to Ericsson for many years. Together, we have deployed the fastest network in Taiwan, and with this MoU, we are taking steps to further extend our collaboration for accelerated success in 5G and develop the network of the future.”

In March, FET selected Ericsson as its vendor for 5G Standalone (SA) and Non-standalone (NSA) dual-mode 5G Core and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services.

As part of the deal, Ericsson is supporting FET in the expansion of its 5G NSA capabilities and SA evolution on the low, mid- and high-band frequencies.

In addition to end-to-end network orchestration and management, the expanded partnership will include full network design, planning and optimization services, Ericsson said, with the aim of maximizing FET’s spectrum assets by expanding its mid-band base stations and modernizing existing low-band stations.

Ericsson will also provide a turnkey solution to deploy cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core, including the container-based Ericsson Cloud Packet Core, Ericsson Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy, Ericsson Cloud Native Infrastructure and Ericsson Orchestrator.

FET, which had launched commercial 5G services in July 2020, has already reached over 300,000 5G subscribers, according to previous reports. The carrier also said that it aims to reach 1 million customers in the 5G segment by the end of this year.

The telecom’s 5G network coverage currently reaches 55% of Taiwan’s territory, while 5G coverage in capital Taipei reaches 92%.

Far EasTone said the aim for this year is to reach a 5G coverage of 90% of the nation.

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