The big picture: The race to 5G is heating up.
Under the terms of the new deal, Ericsson will supply hardware and software from its market-ready 5G Platform, which includes its strengthened Ericsson Radio System portfolio, across all spectrum bands available to T-Mobile.
Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile, 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". These latest news come on the back of a host of recent achievements from Ericsson, including a multivendor data call on 39GHz with Intel, a 3GPP-compliant 5G data call on 39GHz with Qualcomm, and the announcement of a global relationship with Sprint to build a distributed and virtualized core network dedicated specifically to IoT (Internet of Things), in addition to a world-class IoT operating system.
"We have recently chose to increase our investments in the United States 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. This agreement marks a major milestone for both companies.
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Ericsson ranks as the largest supplier of mobile network technology ahead of Nokia.
Wireless carriers are expected to conduct more trials in the next several months, as well as tweak their 5G networks to comply with the final Release 15 standards for 5G, which will be set this week in a 3GPP plenary meeting in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. "Together with our partners we are continuing to prove the readiness of both the underlying technology and the ecosystem".
Claims to "5G firsts" will continue to be made until 5G deployments are in full swing next year, supported by finalized 5G NR standards, spectrum auctions, and relaxed regulatory policies.
And there are still hurdles to overcome, not least 5G's limited range and penetration.