Ericsson extends 5G contract with BT and EE

Ericsson has been selected by BT as its main 5G partner for London and other major UK cities.

BT and other operators had been ordered by the government not to use core 5G equipment from Chinese firm Huawei. Nokia and NEC have also benefited from other European governmental bans on 5G equipment from Huawei, which continued to deny its technology is a security risk linked to its alleged control by the Chinese government.

Ericsson will be a key BT partner for 5G deployments in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and other major cities, managing around half of their total 5G traffic. The deal builds on BT’s selection of Ericsson for 5G core equipment earlier in the year, now making the Swedish company the end-to-end 5G partner for BT with the provision of 5G radio access network (RAN) connectivity.

Ericsson’s RAN platform technology is also said to underline BT’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, reducing the company’s energy consumption and optimising costs. It will also modernise BT’s existing 2G and 4G RAN infrastructure, aimed at enhancing customer experience and network performance for BT and EE subsidiary mobile customers.

Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT, said: “The lightning-fast speeds of 5G will help customers 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 chief executive of Ericsson, added: “Having already been selected to partner in the 5G core, we are pleased to strengthen the relationship further with this deal that will deliver high performance and secure 5G to BT customers across the UK’s major cities.”

The deal includes the provision of Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, which will enable BT to dynamically share 4G and 5G traffic to enable a “smooth, fast and cost-effective migration to 5G”, said the partners.

Ericsson currently has 113 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with communications service providers globally.

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