Ericsson has been selected by Taiwanese operator Asia-Pacific Telecom (APT) to modernize its network and support with 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) Multi-Operator Core Network readiness, the Swedish vendor said in a release.
This includes integration with rival operator Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) on the 3.5 GHz frequency band in Taiwan.
Under the terms of the agreement, Ericsson will provide radio access network (RAN) solutions from its 5G-ready Ericsson Radio System portfolio as well as 5G NSA licenses to do 5G Multi-Operator Core Networks (MOCN). The contract also covers Ericsson Network Manager and OSS migration services and upgrades.
In September 2020, FET and APT had announced a partnership to provide 5G services on Taiwan’s 3.5 GHz frequency band through the nation’s first MOCN – where two or more core networks share the same RAN and bandwidth. The collaboration includes 700 MHz shared RAN to be used on both 4G and 5G technologies.
As part of this new agreement, a number of mobile sites will be upgraded with Ericsson 5G RAN technology. The currently installed Ericsson baseband will be modernized to the latest 5G technology standard to match FET’s network quality.
“Ericsson continues to accelerate the overall progress of 5G development in Taiwan, supporting both APT and FET to quickly launch new services to market and provide Taiwanese consumers and enterprises with the highest quality communication services,” said Chafic Nassif, president of Ericsson Taiwan. “Our enhanced 5G platform provides the technological backbone for the nation’s first Multi-Operator Core Network and we will continue to support both service providers with their successful integration and partnership.”
With the deployment of Ericsson Network Manager, APT will be able to dynamically operate between 4G and 5G networks, with a set of unified applications to securely manage radio access, transport and core, Ericsson said.
Ericsson also said it now has 124 commercial 5G agreements with communications service providers globally, 74 of which have been publicly announced.
In August, Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) selected Nokia to be its sole 5G New Radio (NR) and 5G core (non-standalone and standalone) vendor. Under the agreement, Nokia will provide its AirScale Radio Access solutions to APT’s network, which will make of use of the carrier’s high-band 28 GHz mmWave in Taiwan.
APT secured 400 megahertz in the 28 GHz frequency range, but because it does not have mid-band spectrum, it decided to work with other operators to share networks in the 3.5 GHz frequency range.
Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) has already reached over 300,000 5G subscribers after the telco launched the new technology in July of this year, local press reported. The carrier also said that it aims to reach 1 million customers in the 5G segment by the end of next year.
The telecom’s 5G network coverage currently reaches 55% of Taiwan’s territory, while 5G coverage in capital Taipei reaches 92%.
Far EasTone said the aim for next year is to reach a 5G coverage of 90% of the nation.
The carrier expects to deploy another 4,000 5G base stations in 2021, after installing 4,000 this year, Far EasTone president Chee Ching previously told reporters on the sidelines of the annual IEEE Global Communications Conference in Taipei.