Mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson ERICb.ST said on Tuesday it had signed a $3.5 billion (2.69 billion pounds) multi-year deal to support T-Mobile US' TMUS.O 5G network deployment, the biggest 5G order that Ericsson has announced. Under the deal, Ericsson will provide T-Mobile with the latest 5G New Radio hardware and software, compliant with 3GPP standards. These are all meant to help T-Mobile bridge the gap between its current nationwide LTE Advanced network to a functioning 5G network faster than any of its competitors.
Commenting on the agreement, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said: "While the other guys just make promises, we're putting our money where our mouth is".
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".
"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", added Niklas Heuveldop, Ericsson's North American chief.
From T-Mobile's announcements, it seems the operator will be dividing the labor and dual sourcing from the two companies equally, buying both hardware and software compliant with global standards from Ericsson and Nokia.
As the commercial launch of 5G services rapidly approaches, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Intel, together with AT&T and T-Mobile are showcasing the power of the 5G ecosystem.
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T-Mobile means business when it comes to 5G.
The new-look ERS also comes with spectrum-sharing software so that customers can allocate spectrum to a particular network technology on a dynamic, millisecond basis. "Together with our partners we are continuing to prove the readiness of both the underlying technology and the ecosystem".
T-Mobile is moving ahead quickly with its plans to upgrade it wireless systems to the next level of 5G. Executives have repeatedly argued that a combined entity will be able to roll out 5G services much faster than if the companies remain separate, hoping to sway United States authorities concerned that China might be winning the 5G race.
And there are still hurdles to overcome, not least 5G's limited range and penetration.