Ericsson appears to be profiting from the ongoing uncertainty around Huawei technology, today announcing that it has partnered with O2 UK to deploy its 5G radio access network (RAN) across the UK, upgrading existing 2G/3G/4G sites as part of a substantial network modernization program.
In January 2020 O2 confirmed (opens in new tab) that it would be using either Ericsson or Nokia technology going forward, as the UK introduced a 35% limit on the amount of Huawei tech that could be used in “non-core” parts of the network. So this announcement will come as no surprise to those in the industry.
“We are pleased to be moving forward with Ericsson as one of our primary vendors for our 5G rollout,” said Brendan O’Reilly, CTO at O2. “Telecommunications has never been more important in keeping the country connected, and we look forward to bringing the enhanced capabilities of 5G to our customers.”
Following the launch (opens in new tab) of O2’s 5G commercial network in October 2019, the extended partnership with Ericsson will include hardware, software and service upgrades, bringing greater coverage, voice and data capacity.
Ericsson Radio System
Products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio (opens in new tab) will be deployed in cities including Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff, and will include new multiband and wide-band 5G radios, as well as new 5G-optimized basebands. And Ericsson will continue to support O2 with the rollout of commercial 5G in other cities, towns and locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“5G will be crucial for the UK’s economic recovery and underpin its digital future,” said Arun Bansal, President of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson. “We are committed to ensuring that the UK achieves its gigabit connectivity targets so that enterprises and society at large benefit from high quality connectivity. We are delighted to be continuing our long-term partnership with O2 with this 5G network evolution.”
An innovation cluster will also be developed as a collaboration platform, which O2 can use to evaluate and test future mobile architecture, technology, and systems, as O2 moves towards a network migration to 5G Standalone (SA) architecture.
“We are proud to expand our world-class 5G coverage, leading the modernization of UK networks as a reliable partner for years to come. Together with all of our customers, we are focused on delivering more capacity and connectivity, especially as networks are more critical than ever,” concluded Bansal.