Ericsson strengthens end-to-end transport solutions for 5G

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The arrangement builds on a previous $3.5 billion 5G network gear deal that T-Mobile signed with Nokia in July. Meanwhile, T-Mobile's already installed base of Ericsson Radio System radios will be able to run 5G NR technology via remote software installation.

Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson has bagged a multi-year 5G network deployment contract worth $3.5 billion with the U.S. carrier T-Mobile. Nokia and Ericsson both have contracts to supply hardware to all 3 of the major providers - and if T-Mobile's deal is any indicator, they are likely $3.5B or more. The contract also encompasses Ericsson's dynamic orchestration, business support systems and Ericsson Cloud Core to assist the mobile operator in launching new services.

"While the other guys just make promises, we're putting our money where our mouth is".

During the same event, AT&T also announced the rollout of mobile 5G in five USA cities: Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, and San Antonio - in addition to previously announced markets: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, and Waco. For the test held in Waco, Texas, AT&T engineers used a smartphone with integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem and RF subsystem and Ericsson 5G-NR capable radios to connect to AT&T's virtual 3X standards compliant system.

The era of 5G networks is rapidly approaching, but despite all the talks surrounding the technology in recent months, it could take a while for it to become mainstream.

The deal comes amid a flurry of 5G activity in the United States market, where all four of the nationwide mobile networks are gearing up for investment in the next-generation technology.

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T-Mobile is hoping to merge with rival Sprint, arguing the deal will accelerate development of 5G in the US.

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

"We have recently made a decision to increase our investments in the U.S. to be closer to our leading customers and better support them with their accelerated 5G deployments and we are excited about our partnership with T-Mobile", said Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson in North America. "Together with our partners we are continuing to prove the readiness of both the underlying technology and the ecosystem".

Ericsson increased its market share of the mobile networks market in the second quarter, partly due to faster network upgrades in the North American, where it ranks as the biggest supplier ahead of Nokia.

While Nokia's performance has come as a disappointment to shareholders so far in 2018 - with earnings marked by a fall in profitability - CEO Rajeev Suri has continued to insist that 5G business will start to buoy figures toward the end of the current financial year.

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