Taiwan mobile operator Far EasTone named Ericsson as a 5G RAN supplier as it gears up to launch commercial service in late Q2 or Q3 using the 3.5GHz spectrum band.

Chee Ching, Far EasTone president, said selecting Ericsson as a 5G partner will help reduce the complexity of multi-vendor interoperability and migrating from 4G.

He said its 5G-ready core and transport infrastructure are already in place.

In a statement, Ericsson said it will deploy its AI-powered RAN and spectrum sharing system, which will help the operator allocate spectrum assets based on traffic demand using existing infrastructure. The vendor said it started partnering with the operator on 5G in 2016 and was its sole provider of LTE gear.

Last week, Far EasTone said it will offer existing subscribers on TWD1,399 ($46.32) a month data plans free 5G service upgrades.

The operator warned last month its heavy investment in 5G would hit its 2020 bottom-line, but expects the rollout to drive revenue growth as ARPU climbs. It plans to boost capex from TWD6.2 billion in 2019 to TWD10.2 billion this year.

Far EasTone spent more than TWD41 billion on 80MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum and 400MHz in the 28GHz band in an auction which closed in January.