Hong Kong’s smallest mobile operator SmarTone selected Sweden’s Ericsson as the sole supplier for its core and radio access network for the next five years.
The deal extends the operator’s long-term partnership with the equipment vendor and paves the way for 5G in Hong Kong, said SmarTone CTO Stephen Chau.
The companies plan to conduct early trials and pilot deployments of key pre-5G technologies this quarter.
Chau said SmarTone will continue to invest in spectrum and pre-5G technologies in the next few years to evolve its network into “an advanced, dynamic and cloud-based network architecture”.
Ericsson will enable SmarTone to upgrade and expand its network infrastructure for the re-farming of more spectrum to LTE and to support the latest mobile technologies, the companies said in a statement. The two companies have been working together to introduce ‘4.5G’ LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro.
Ericsson will deploy network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) for various core network elements to boost network performance and efficiency, which will enable cost-effective, energy-efficient operations while supporting the introduction of the new services required for 5G and the Internet of Things, Ericsson said.