T-Mobile US ramped its 5G deployment plans by inking a $3.5 billion contract with Ericsson, the Swedish vendor’s biggest 5G deal to date.
News of the agreement comes just more than a month after Finnish vendor Nokia announced its own largest-ever 5G deal with T-Mobile, also a $3.5 billion agreement to supply equipment for the operator’s nationwide 5G rollout.
In a statement, T-Mobile said it will tap Ericsson’s 5G portfolio
to expand existing LTE capacity, while future proofing the network.
As part of the agreement, Ericsson will provide T-Mobile with the
latest 5G New Radio hardware and software compliant with 3GPP
standards, across all spectrum bands available to the operator.
The contract also includes an agreement to use Ericsson’s digital services solutions including dynamic orchestration, business support systems (BSS) and Ericsson Cloud Core.
Nokia’s agreement stipulated the Finnish vendor would provide hardware and software services for the operator’s 5G launch on 600MHz and 28GHz, along with access to a range of Nokia services. The pair also agreed to test new connectivity across a number of sectors.
True to form, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray did not miss out on the opportunity to take a dig at rivals AT&T and Verizon, while adding a comment on the proposed merger with Sprint which is still undergoing regulatory scrutiny.
“While the other guys just make promises, we’re putting our money where our mouth is,” he said. “With this new Ericsson agreement we’re laying the groundwork for 5G – and with Sprint we can supercharge the 5G revolution.”
For Ericsson, the deal builds on a strategy of boosting its 5G activity in the US as commercial launches near.
“We have recently decided to increase our investments in the US to be closer to our leading customers and better support them with their accelerated 5G deployments; thereby bringing 5G to life for consumers and enterprises across the country, ” added Niklas Heuveldop, president and head of Ericsson North America.
T-Mobile said in February it was working with both Ericsson and rival
vendor Nokia to build out its 5G network, which it plans to launch
This week, AT&T, which has said it is planning to launch 5G this year,
also announced it is working with Nokia and Ericsson, as well as Samsung, as its kit suppliers.