DT selects Ericsson for ‘5G-ready’ radio access network deployment

Its been a good week for network infrastructure vendor Ericsson. On Dec. 11, the company won a contract with U.S. operator Verizon to provide core, RAN, transport and services for a 2018 commercial 5G fixed wireless access launch. On the heels of that win, Ericsson announced on Dec. 14, it was selected by Deutsche Telekom to provide a “5G-ready” RAN as part of a five-year deal.

Specifically, Ericsson will multi-standard RAN solutions covering DT’s 2G, 3G and LTE networks, while laying the groundwork for the switch to 5G once the 3GPP finalizes its specification in mid-2018. The agreements covers basebands, radios, OSS for unified network management, and hardware and software support and services, according to Ericsson.

DT divides its German operation into two service areas. The new agreement with Ericsson covers one of those two market areas. Based on published reports, Deutsche Telekom previously worked with Nokia and Huawei to provide network infrastructure in the two service areas, meaning this new deal with Ericsson displaces one of those two rivals, although it’s not clear which one.

Ericsson SVP and Head of Market Area Europe and Latin America Arun Bansal described the agreement as “building a foundation for a joint journey towards 5G. We listed to Deutsche Telekom and understood their urgency to have 5G-ready infrastructure in order to stay at the forefront of customer service in Germany. We can run multiple standards on the same baseband hardware and a 5G upgrade will be able to be performed by a simple software download to the radio sites. And, during these deliveries, we will use the experience from our 5G activities around the world to be sure that Deutsche Telekom has the most advanced hardware and software in the industry.”

In September, DT and Huawei, using pre-standard 5G New Radio equipment passed 2 Gbps on a live commercial network trial in Berlin. The test used 3.7 GHz spectrum and, in addition to the multi-gigabit throughput, yielded latency metrics of three milliseconds, according to DT.

In the U.S., Ericsson will provide broad hardware and service support for Verizon’s plan to deploy commercial 5G for residential broadband beginning in Sacramento, Calif., in the second half of 2018.  Verizon has tested 5G fixed wireless access in 11 U.S. markets, which the company said included “several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations.” Now Verizon says it will use that technology to deliver residential broadband services in three to five markets next year.

Ericsson’s Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson, said “Our pioneering work with 5G will make U.S. consumers and businesses among the first in the world to benefit from the transformative services of the new technology. It further illustrates how our global 5G portfolio, designed to support 5G NR as standardized in 3GPP, enables first movers in the early commercialization of 5G networks.”

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