Dutch communications service provider KPN has selected Ericsson as its mobile core network vendor, the latter said in a release.
Under the five-year agreement, Ericsson will deploy dual-mode 5G Core software with full support services, including an accompanying systems integration program with third-line support services.
Ericsson noted that its 5G Core will upgrade KPN’s existing 2G/3G/4G packet core and signaling technology and enable the Dutch telco to deploy its first standalone 5G network.
The Swedish vendor also said that its native dual-mode 5G Core will allow KPN to meet increasing data demands of customers in existing consumer markets, as well as pursue new 5G innovation opportunities in emerging enterprise segments supported by enhanced network slicing capabilities. This includes Internet of Things (IoT) applications with critical demands such as smart transport and emerging ultra-low-latency gaming use cases.
”With our new 5G core network, we are entering the next era of mobile technology,” said Babak Fouladi, chief technology and digital officer at KPN. “By partnering with Ericsson on the latest technologies, gigabit data rates, real-time communication and massive IoT are becoming reality. This will enable new functionalities and capabilities for our customers and society and confirms KPN is truly delivering on its promise to be the network of the Netherlands.”
“We will work closely with KPN to ensure that consumers and enterprises in the Netherlands can benefit from the emerging opportunities of 5G as it embraces digitalization,” said Arun Bansal, president of Europe and Latin America for Ericsson. “Ericsson’s cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core provides the cutting-edge, container-based, microservice architecture that will help KPN to both develop new business models as well as move onto the next level of network operational efficiency.”
Ericsson said that the implementation if the 5G Core solution is expected to get underway later in 2020.
KPN launched commercial 5G services in July this year. KPN said that its new 5G network will be active in most of the Randstad area and Eindhoven, reaching about half of the Dutch population. The Randstad is a megalopolis in the central-western Netherlands consisting primarily of the four largest Dutch cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) and their surrounding areas.
KPN previously said it expects to reach nationwide 5G coverage during 2021. KPN acquired 20 megahertz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, as well as 15 megahertz in the 1400 MHz band and 40 megahertz in the 2100 MHz band. The carrier paid a total of € 416 million for the spectrum.
Rival operator T-Mobile Netherlands also launched 5G in July 2020. T-Mobile said that it expects its 5G network to have national coverage by the end of this year.
The carrier won 20 megahertz of 700 MHz and 10 megahertz in the 1400 MHz band. It also retained 40 megahertz of 2100 MHz.
VodafoneZiggo had launched 5G services in the country at the end of April using the Ericsson Spectrum Sharing solution. The operator confirmed that its 5G services already cover 80% of the country’s population. VodafoneZiggo paid € 416 million for 20 megahertz of 700 MHz; 15 megahertz of 1400 MHz; and 40 megahertz in the 2100 MHz band in the recent spectrum auction.
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