T-Mobile is preparing for its 5G deployment by inking a $3.5 billion deal with Ericsson for 5G gear. T-Mobile has said it plans to launch 5G in 30 markets nationwide in 2019.
Specifically, the contract includes Ericsson’s 5G platform and its radio portfolio, which includes radios that operate across a variety of spectrum bands. T-Mobile also will be able to update its existing installed base of Ericsson radios to run 5G NR by updating the software. The contract also includes backend software such as Ericsson’s dynamic orchestration, business support services, and its cloud core.
T-Mobile’s selection of Ericsson isn’t a big surprise. The carrier said last February that it would use equipment from Nokia and Ericsson to deploy its 5G network. However, it is now revealing specifics of its agreement with Ericsson, including the dollar amount of the deal.
T-Mobile’s deal with Ericsson is very similar to the one it inked with Nokia in late July. That deal, which also was for $3.5 billion, called for Nokia to supply its AirScale radio platform, cloud-native core, Airframe hardware, and CloudBand software.
T-Mobile has said it will deploy 5G in the 600 MHz and 28 GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum bands, and it will use equipment based upon the 3GPP 5G NR standard.
Ericsson and Nokia are both long-time partners with T-Mobile. The carrier inked equipment deals with both Ericsson and Nokia (which was then known as Nokia Siemens Networks) back in 2012 for its LTE network.
5G Vendor Wins
T-Mobile’s announcement follows AT&T, which yesterday revealed some specifics of its 5G vendor agreements. AT&T said that it has selected Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung to be its 5G vendors for its mobile 5G network. It also said that it has started to deploy the standards-based equipment in a handful of early launch markets.
Verizon, meanwhile, has said that it is working with Ericsson and Samsung on its pre-standard 5G deployment. Ericsson is providing Verizon with 5G RAN and core network gear as well as associated transport and other services. Samsung is supplying the operator with routers, radio base stations, and virtualized RAN elements, as well as 5G radio frequency planning.