Ericsson will supply Verizon with RAN, core, transport and services for 2018 5G deployment
With the 3GPP working to deliver a standalone 5G New Radio specification in mid-2018, Verizon last month announced plans to roll-out 5G fixed wireless access in the second half of the year. On the heels of that announcement, yesterday network infrastructure vendor Ericsson announced it has been selected by Verizon to provide the equipment needed to deliver high-speed residential broadband in what is poised to be the first commercial 5G deployment in the U.S.
Ericsson will provide pre-standard 5G solutions covering the radio access network (RAN), core, transport and support services, according to the company.
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.
The carrier will make the commercial service available first in Sacramento, Calif. Operators in the U.S. and around the world have looked to 5G fixed wireless access as a way to deliver multi-gigabit-per-second throughput speeds without needing to deploy fiber directly to homes and premises, which is a costly and time-consuming process.
Verizon President of Global Networks and Chief Technology Officer Hans Vestberg, the former CEO of Ericsson, called it a “landmark announcement for customers and investors who have been waiting for the 5G future to become a reality. We appreciate our strong ecosystem partners for their passion and technological support in helping us drive forward with 5G industry standards, for both fixed and mobile applications. The targeted initial launches we are announcing today will provide a strong framework for accelerating 5G’s future deployment on the global standards.”
5G fixed wireless access is seen as a way to the lay the groundwork for mobile 5G in that fixed sites could be augmented to use the same footprint to deliver mobility services. Given the massive R&D spend that has gone into developing 5G technologies, operators and vendors are eager to rapidly commercialize the next-generation network.
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.”