Ericsson announced it has secured the company’s 100th commercial 5G agreement or contract with unique communications service providers.
The Swedish vendor said that this figure includes 58 publicly announced contracts and 56 live 5G networks globally.
The company’s 5G milestone was reached with today’s announcement of a 5G agreement with Slovenian operator Telekom Slovenije. Under that deal, Ericsson and Telekom Slovenije launched the first commercial 5G network in Slovenia last month.
The new 5G services were switched on through a software installation to existing Ericsson Radio System and Packet Core equipment which will enable spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G on 2600 MHz FDD spectrum — which is traditionally used for 4G only. Under the terms of the 5G deal, Ericsson is supplying Telekom Slovenije with RAN and Packet Core solutions.
Initial 5G services are available in major cities across Slovenia, covering an estimated 25% of the population. Telekom Slovenije aims to increase its 5G coverage to 33% of the population by end of 2020.
Ericsson noted that its first public 5G partnership announcement came in 2014. Initial technology engagements and memorandum of understanding (MoU) partnerships were followed by 5G New Radio (NR) technology testing and trials. The next phase included commercial deals and network rollout announcements. The first live commercial launches were announced in 2018, Ericsson said.
Ericsson also highlighted that its 5G deployments include 5G Non-Standalone, 5G Standalone and Ericsson Spectrum Sharing technology. They also include cloud native capabilities with Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core.
Ericsson has deployed 5G in high, mid and low-bands in different urban, suburban and rural environments to support enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access business cases. In some advanced 5G markets, communication service providers are offering 5G-enabled augmented reality and virtual reality services in education, entertainment and gaming.
Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, said: “Our customers’ needs have been central to the development and evolution of Ericsson’s 5G technology across our portfolio from the very beginning. We are proud that this commitment has resulted in 100 unique communications service providers globally selecting our technology to drive their 5G success ambitions. We continue to put our customers center stage to help them deliver the benefits of 5G to their subscribers, industry, society and countries as a critical national infrastructure.”
Ericsson has also worked with service providers, universities, technology institutes, and industry partners to develop and pursue 5G business and consumer use cases. These use cases include factory automation, smart offices, remote surgery and other enterprise and Industry 4.0 applications.
Some key customers include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, US Cellular, Verizon, Bell Canada, Telus, Rogers, Swisscom, TDC, Telenor, Vodafone UK, Wind , Deutsche Telkom, O2 UK, Etisalat, Optus, Ooredoo, Orange France, Vodafone UK, STC, KT, SK Telecom and Telstra.
Rival vendor Nokia recently announced that it has reached a total of 85 commercial 5G contracts worldwide, of which 33 are live 5G networks.
The company said that some of the customers include AT&T, KDDI, Korea Telecom, LG Uplus, NTT DoCoMo, O2, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Sprint, STC, T-Mobile US, Verizon, Vodafone Italy and Zain Saudi Arabia.