Ericsson and AT&T have announced a five-year agreement to accelerate the expansion of AT&T 5G. Building on more than 20 years of collaboration, this new deal will help support deployment of the service provider’s recently acquired C-band spectrum and the launch of 5G Standalone (SA).
As part of the deal, AT&T is tapping into Ericsson’s leading network expertise as the company works toward its 5G network goals. Ericsson will help AT&T to bring its 5G network to more consumers, businesses and first responders across key industries – including 5G use cases in sports and venues, entertainment, travel and transportation, business transformation and public safety. The deal also supports AT&T’s goal of covering 70-75 million people with 5G over C-Band by end of 2022 and plans to reach 200 million by end of 2023.
“As we continue to expand our nationwide 5G network, Ericsson’s technology offerings and 5G expertise will assist with our network evolution. This latest agreement provides the pathway for us to deploy Ericsson’s next-generation centralized RAN architecture, enabled by Fronthaul Gateway, with the ability to support future network enhancements, like the evolution to Cloud RAN,” said Scott Mair, President, AT&T Network Engineering and Operations.
AT&T’s network evolution is made possible in part by the Ericsson Radio System portfolio, which includes the Advanced Antenna System, Advanced RAN Coordination and Carrier Aggregation technologies. These 5G technology deployments will support future network enhancements like Cloud RAN, which offers communications services providers increased flexibility, faster delivery of services and greater scalability in networks. The solution supports a centralized RAN architecture enabled by Ericsson Fronthaul Gateway, a new technology that will enable a more efficient transport of the fronthaul interface by converting it to packet (eCPRI).
Ericsson Cloud RAN is a cloud-native software solution handling compute functionality in the Radio Access Network. It complements the existing technologies in the RAN domain and allows for the adoption of leading practices to become a foundation for openness, enabling innovation in 5G. Ericsson Cloud RAN will enable communications service providers, such as AT&T to seamlessly evolve towards cloud-native technologies and open network architectures to meet the demand for more deployment flexibility.
“This agreement reinforces our long-standing partnership of innovation and execution with AT&T. 5G networks will enable unprecedented, sustainable and exponential growth, accelerating the digital transformation of industries and the public sector, for the benefit of consumers, enterprises and society at large. Ericsson is excited to join forces with AT&T to help make this vision a reality,” said Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson North America.