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Ericsson delivers its first US-made 5G base station to Verizon

Verizon’s chief technology officer, Kyle Malady, taking delivery of Ericsson's new radio unit.
Verizon’s chief technology officer, Kyle Malady, taking delivery of Ericsson's new radio unit. (Image credit: Ericsson)

In a public relations exercise guaranteed to turn heads in the networking industry, Ericsson has delivered its first 5G radio unit built entirely on American soil to Verizon’s chief technology officer, Kyle Malady, showcasing the potential of Ericsson’s new state-of-the-art 300,000 sq. ft. smart factory in Texas.

The equipment, the first 5G base station to be produced by Ericsson in the US, marks a major milestone for the Swedish multinational, as it continues its efforts to win business from clients unable to use Huawei technology in the wake of the US trade ban.

“Together these types of innovation will accelerate our 5G deployments, as we expand our 5G leadership in technology."

Kyle Malady, Verizon.

“Ericsson’s smart factory is a cornerstone of our collaboration as we work together to bring 5G to our consumer, enterprise and public safety customers,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer of Verizon. “Together these types of innovation will accelerate our 5G deployments, as we expand our 5G leadership in technology and continue to rapidly build the ecosystem with our partners.”

Street Macro product

Although Ericsson won’t want to explicitly antagonise the Chinese government, of the seven manufacturing sites listed in the company’s last annual report, only one is in China, and it sits in a relatively good position, should China decide to block European exports.

The 5G base station delivered to Verizon’s headquarters is the millimeter wave Street Macro product, which is especially designed for deployment in metropolitan areas, providing extra capacity alongside rooftop sites, with all radio access components housed in a lightweight enclosure.

"From producing the first 5G base stations at our 5G USA Smart Factory earlier this year, we’ve made our first commercial delivery to Verizon. That’s just the beginning.”

“As the most advanced platform for innovation, 5G will enable a transformation across enterprises –as we’re now experiencing in our own smart factories,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks at Ericsson. “Automation and remote operations have become more important, and we’re working with our customers to make them available for the benefit of industries. From producing the first 5G base stations at our 5G USA Smart Factory earlier this year, we’ve made our first commercial delivery to Verizon. That’s just the beginning.”

Ericsson’s Texas-based factory began commercial operations in March, and will be fully operational by the end of the year, when it will produce 5G and Advanced Antenna System radios to boost network capacity. According to Ericsson, this domestic manufacturing factory is a “critical component of Ericsson’s global supply strategy”, as the company strives to meet US requirements for a 5G supply chain that meets the current expectations of the Trump administration.

We have approached Ericsson for a breakdown of the components used in the base station, including information on where they originated from, and will include an update if we receive any confirmation.

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.