Cell, Ericsson signal $Three.5 billion 5G settlement

5G Sign 2

Announced in quick succession, the two 5G deals mean T-Mobile, which operates the third-biggest mobile network in the United States, will spend at least $7 billion on 5G deployment with Europe's two main network equipment vendors.

Ericsson and T-Mobile US have signed a $3.5bn-heavy deal to support the telecom's 5G network deployment, the two companies confirmed recently. On Tuesday, the nation's third largest wireless provider matched that investment through a similar agreement with Ericsson.

Ericsson is an unsurprising choice for T-Mobile's 5G upgrade plans as the U.S. operator's existing Ericsson Radio systems radios will also be able to run on the upgraded 5G system, with only a remote software installation.

Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer with T-Mobile, says: "We've been working at a fever pace to get commercial 5G ready, reaching one milestone after another".

Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of business area networks at Ericsson, said: "Our radio expertise and knowledge in network architecture, end-user applications and standardisation work put us in an excellent position to understand the requirements 5G places on transport". Additionally, T-Mobile's already installed base of Ericsson Radio System radios will be able to run 5G NR technology with remote software installation.

All four major U.S. operators have advanced 5G roadmaps with the first services due to go live later this year.

Bridging from a nationwide LTE Advanced network to 5G, T-Mobile will take advantage of Ericsson's 5G portfolio to grow existing LTE capacity needs while future-proofing the system.

"We have recently made a decision to increase our investments in the USA to be closer to our leading customers and better support them with their accelerated 5G deployments; thereby bringing 5G to life for consumers and enterprises across the country", said Niklas Heuveldop, Head of Ericsson North America.

Combining cutting-edge network technology and the very latest research, 5G should offer connections that are multitudes faster than current connections, with average download speeds of around 1GBps expected to soon be the norm. "Together with our partners we are continuing to prove the readiness of both the underlying technology and the ecosystem".

Nokia has also continued to champion its "end-to-end" portfolio as a major advantage over Ericsson, which is largely focused on the development of radio access networks and lacks Nokia's IP, optical and fixed-line expertise.

And there are still hurdles to overcome, not least 5G's limited range and penetration.

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