BT has selected Ericsson as its 5G RAN provider in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and other major cities across the UK.
Earlier this year, BT had selected the Swedish vendor to provide the company’s next-generation cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core. Once the deployment is completed, Ericsson will manage around 50% of BT’s 5G traffic. The U.K. telco also recently signed a 5G RAN contract with Nokia.
“Our customers deserve the best network and we are delivering. We’re the UK leader in 5G and are excited to be working with Ericsson as a key partner to maintain that market leadership. Through this deal, we will continue to drive the best mobile experiences for our customers. The lightning-fast speeds of 5G will help them 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,” said Philip Jansen, CEO of BT.
“BT has a clear direction in how it wants to drive its 5G ambitions in the UK and we are delighted to be their partner in delivering that,” said Börje Ekholm, president and CEO of Ericsson. “Having already been selected to partner in 5G Core, we are pleased to strengthen the relationship further with this deal that will deliver high performance and secure 5G to their customers across the UK’s major cities. By deploying 5G in these key areas, we are yet again demonstrating our technology leadership in population-dense and high traffic locations.“
Ericsson’s 5G RAN deployment and 2G/4G network modernization will be comprised of products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio. This includes Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, which will enable BT to dynamically share 4G and 5G traffic to enable a fast migration to 5G.
Ericsson said it currently has 113 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with unique communications service providers globally, of which 64 are publicly announced 5G deals, including 65 live commercial 5G networks.
U.K. carrier EE, part of telecom group BT, launched the UK’s first 5G service in May 2019 and has now expanded to 112 towns and cities across the UK. In the last 12 months, EE has also more than doubled its amount of 5G sites in key cities such as Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
EE initially launched 5G technology in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester. Other large cities in which the telco offers 5G coverage includes Bristol, Covently, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Sunderland.
BT launched its 5G mobile service for consumers and business customers in October of last year. The service was initially available in a number of cities including London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Coventry, Leicester and Bristol.
The network utilizes existing infrastructure already deployed by mobile operator EE, which is part of the BT Group.