Ericsson Wins BT’s 5G Contract, Set To Replace Huawei In UK Cities

Upon deployment, Ericsson is expected to manage 50% of BT’s 5G communications, creating a new basis for UK telecommunication.

Ericsson made a public announcement on Wednesday, stating that it had been chosen by BT Group to supply 5G radio equipment in major UK cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Upon completion, the contract will mean that a substantial 50% of BT’s 5G communications will be transmitted via the Ericsson Radio System kit. The move will allow BT to conveniently forego Huawei while also eliminating the risks of becoming fully dependent on Nokia, its second radio access network equipment provider.

In addition to providing 5G radio equipment, Ericsson said it would be responsible for modernising BT’s existing 2G and 4G Radio Access Network, bettering its performance for BT customers.

Ericsson president and CEO Börje Ekholm, said in a press release, “in addition to strengthening the relationship between the two countries, it is also a defining move for the company…. BT has a clear direction in how it wants to drive its 5G ambitions in the UK, By deploying 5G in these key areas, we are yet again demonstrating our technology leadership in population-dense and high-traffic locations.”

Ericsson’s equipment has been widely-used as part of 5G infrastructure. The company has claimed that it currently holds 113 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with communication service providers worldwide.

In July, after the US imposed sanctions against Huawei, ministers announced that UK providers were mandated to stop sourcing 5G-related equipment from the Chinese telecom giant after 31 December, and must also totally eliminate Huawei’s technology from their infrastructure by 2027.

Huawei has come out to deny that its equipment poses any threat to the UK’s national security. Earlier on Wednesday, the company also published a report showing how the ban could cost the UK thousands of jobs and over £100 billion in economic benefits.

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