Ericsson has announced it has partnered with Bhutan Telecom to bring Ericsson 5G to the landlocked Eastern Himalayan country of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The Kingdom of Bhutan boasts some of the remotest, most stunning, and challenging contrasting geographical landscapes in the world. “They are no barrier, however, to the nation also benefitting from best next-generation connectivity available anywhere in the world, thanks to an Ericsson partnership with Bhutan Telecom to deploy 5G,” commented Ericsson, in a news release.
Ericsson will be responsible for rollout of the 5G network and the contract includes 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) deployment spanning Ericsson Radio System products and solutions, including Ericsson Spectrum Sharing. It also encompasses software upgrades in Ericsson Cloud Packet Core, Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy, Cloud IMS, and OSS/BSS to add support for 5G NSA, while paving the way to the future introduction of 5G Standalone support.
Having previously partnered with Bhutan Telecom to deploy previous generations of mobile connectivity since 2004, bringing 5G technology to the country seems like the next natural step for Ericsson. Previous work has included providing connectivity in parts of country where navigation is often only possible by motorable mountain passes, including the breath-taking Chele La pass. At 4,000 meters elevation, Chele La pass offers one of the most famous views of the Himalayas, in particular the sacred Mount Jhomalari.
In addition to Bhutanese citizens, tens of thousands of tourists, trekkers and hikers worldwide will be familiar with the Chele La pass and its views. The fact that, joint deployment and product capability expertise from Ericsson and Bhutan Telecom, despite its remoteness, it is connected to Bhutan Telecom’s network and so, in turn, to the rest of the world, doesn’t go unnoticed.
“We are delighted to partner with Bhutan Telecom on deploying 5G in Bhutan. 5G will undoubtedly serve as a socio-economic multiplier for the country. 5G with its better performance, ultra-high speed, and reliability will benefit consumers through use cases like enhanced mobile broadband and Fixed Wireless Access initially. Over time, we will see many new transformative use cases in critical IoT emerge, where the speed, latency and security of the 5G network will be key,” said Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Ericsson South East Asia, Oceania and India.
The 5G deployment will also contribute to Bhutanese Government’s efforts to bridge the digital divide in the country and drive Industry 4.0, opportunities for businesses, industries, verticals and the public sectors.
“We appreciate the Government’s reliance on telecom infrastructure to boost the country’s digital infrastructure. The introduction of 5G will boost digital services in the country and enable Bhutan to become a ‘digital society’,” said Karma Jurme, CEO, Bhutan Telecom.
Ericsson will work with Bhutan Telecom to explore related next generation use cases tapping artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, automation and the Internet of Things. 5G services are expected to be rolled out in Bhutan in the last quarter of 2021.