Ericsson announces BT/EE 5G partnership

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  • Ericsson will be a key BT partner for 5G deployment in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and other major cities, managing around 50 percent of its total 5G traffic
  • Ericsson will also modernize BT’s existing 2G and 4G Radio Access Network (RAN) infrastructure enhancing customer experience and network performance for BT and EE customers
  • This deal builds on BT’s selection of Ericsson for 5G Core earlier in the year, making Ericsson an end-to-end 5G partner for BT

Following Nokia’s recent announcement that it is to partner BT for its 5G networks, Ericsson has also announced it will provide 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) connectivity to BT in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff as well as other major cities.

This announcement marks a significant strengthening in the BT-Ericsson strategic partnership and builds on BT’s selection of Ericsson to provide the company’s next-generation cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core earlier this year, making Ericsson the end-to-end 5G partner for BT. Once the deployment is completed, Ericsson will manage around 50 per cent of BT’s 5G traffic.

The expanded partnership creates opportunities for collaboration on the next generation of 5G products and services, Ericsson claims. While delivering improved customer experience to BT’s mobile customers, Ericsson’s RAN platform technology also underlines BT’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, reducing the company’s energy consumption and optimizing costs.

Says Philip Jansen, CEO, BT:

“Our customers deserve the best network and we are delivering. We’re the UK leader in 5G and are excited to be working with Ericsson as a key partner to maintain that market leadership. Through this deal, we will continue to drive the best mobile experiences for our customers. The lightning-fast speeds of 5G will help them to develop their businesses, stream a growing choice of content over our network, and stay in touch with colleagues and friends all over the world.”

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, adds:

“BT has a clear direction in how it wants to drive its 5G ambitions in the UK and we are delighted to be their partner in delivering that. Having already been selected to partner in 5G Core, we are pleased to strengthen the relationship further with this deal that will deliver high performance and secure 5G to their customers across the UK’s major cities. By deploying 5G in these key areas, we are yet again demonstrating our technology leadership in population-dense and high traffic locations.”

He adds: “5G plays a critical role in meeting the UK’s Digital ambitions, accelerating digitalization of the economy and stimulating next-generation wireless innovation for consumers and enterprise. With leading 5G technology, a robust supply chain capability, and more than 120 years of local presence in the UK, we’re committed to rolling out a reliable and secure 5G network alongside BT.”

Concludes Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com:

“BT has acted quickly to reassure the market that its 5G infrastructure will be ready for a post-Huawei future.

“With deals now in place with both Ericsson and Nokia, two well-known and established telecoms technology providers, BT is sending a clear message – its 5G roll-out remains firmly on track and consumers can be confident that investing in a 5G handset will be worth their while. 

“Around a quarter of Britons say they intend to switch to a 5G handset in the coming year, and this month’s launch of 5G-capable handsets by Apple will only accelerate that trend. All of the network providers, including BT, need to ensure the infrastructure is there to support this leap forward.”

Chris Price
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