BT and Ericsson sign 5G deal to help push Huawei out of UK network

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BT and Ericsson have today signed a breakthrough 5G deal that further pushes Chinese firm Huawei out of any future development in the UK.

Ericsson’s radio antennas, base stations and other equipment will now be used across the 5G network, meaning that 50% of all BT’s 5G traffic will be transmitted via the Swedish company’s equipment. This follows a government-mandated ban on Huawei’s products.

Today’s agreement will now mean that BT can remove Huawei without becoming totally dependent on Nokia – its other radio access network partner.

BT and EE customers are set to benefit from Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) connectivity following the company’s selection as BT’s 5G RAN provider in the UK capitals London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and other major cities.

This announcement marks a significant strengthening in the BT-Ericsson strategic partnership, and builds on BT’s selection of Ericsson to provide the company’s next-generation cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core earlier this year, making Ericsson the end-to-end 5G partner for BT. Once the deployment is completed, Ericsson will manage around 50 percent of BT’s 5G traffic.

Philip Jansen, CEO, BT, said: “Our customers deserve the best network and we are delivering. We’re the UK leader in 5G and are excited to be working with Ericsson as a key partner to maintain that market leadership. Through this deal, we will continue to drive the best mobile experiences for our customers. The lightning-fast speeds of 5G will help them to develop their businesses, stream a growing choice of content over our network, and stay in touch with colleagues and friends all over the world.”

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, said: “BT has a clear direction in how it wants to drive its 5G ambitions in the UK and we are delighted to be their partner in delivering that. Having already been selected to partner in 5G Core, we are pleased to strengthen the relationship further with this deal that will deliver high performance and secure 5G to their customers across the UK’s major cities. By deploying 5G in these key areas, we are yet again demonstrating our technology leadership in population-dense and high traffic locations.

“5G plays a critical role in meeting the UK’s Digital ambitions, accelerating digitalization of the economy and stimulating next generation wireless innovation for consumers and enterprise. With leading 5G technology, a robust supply chain capability, and more than 120 years of local presence in the UK, we’re committed to rolling out a reliable and secure 5G network alongside BT.”

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