A few days after announcing a partnership with Verizon for their commercial 5G launch, Ericsson have announced they are working to modernise Deutsche Telekom's networks in Germany to make them "5G Ready".
Ericsson will modernize Deutsche Telekom’s 2G, 3G and 4G network with a multi-standard solution. This will include delivering a multi-standard Radio Access Network, based on Ericsson’s Baseband 6630 product and multi-standard radios, Ericsson Network Manager for OSS, as well as hardware and software support and services.
Deutsche Telekom has selected Ericsson as supplier for its current and future network in one out of two market areas in Germany. It is a five-year deal, so Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom are presumably expecting to develop a network compliant with the 3GPP 5G standards when they are released next year. With all the hype surrounding 5G, it's no surprise that operators are making these announcements now rather than waiting for standardisation.
Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area Europe and Latin America at Ericsson, says: “We listened to Deutsche Telekom and understood their urgency to have 5G-ready infrastructure in order to stay at the forefront of customer service in Germany. We can run multiple standards on the same baseband hardware and a 5G upgrade will be able to be performed by a simple software download to the radio sites. And, during these deliveries, we will use the experience from our 5G activities around the world to be sure that Deutsche Telekom has the most advanced hardware and software in the industry. Now, we are expanding our partnership and building a foundation for a joint journey towards 5G.”
We can probably expect similar announcements of large scale 5G equipment deals over the next few months from Ericsson's major competitors, Nokia, ZTE and Huawei.