Ericsson has been selected by Tele2 Russia to upgrade its network with the 5G-ready Ericsson Radio System including software, as part of a five-year network modernisation deal to enable higher speeds and capacity and prepare for 5G launch. More than 50,000 base stations will be deployed across 27 regions in Russia including Moscow and Saint Petersburg (TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Tele2 Russia’s 2G/3G/4G mobile network footprint covers 65 out of 85 Russian regions in total). Sergey Emdin, CEO of Tele2 Russia, said: ‘Before launching 5G networks, Russia must first address several infrastructure issues. However, when all barriers are overcome, new networks will be built faster than LTE, partly owing to existing infrastructure.’ Sebastian Tolstoy, Head of Ericsson Russia, added: ‘Ericsson’s commercial equipment and software for wireless communications support 5G technologies and we can deploy new functionality as soon as Russian regulators make the necessary decisions on frequencies.’
Tele2 Russia has also entered into a partnership agreement with Huawei, involving strategic cooperation in the development of a 5G-oriented transport and core network including testing ultra-wideband communication networks. Sergey Emdin noted: ‘Tele2 has been successfully testing 5G application scenarios in various industries for several years now. At this stage, it is important for us to enlist a partnership with Huawei … We are confident that working together in the application of the standard will help bring its commercial launch in Russia closer.’ Zhao Lei, President of Huawei Russia, echoed the CEO’s statement, saying that the agreement would help create robust, future-oriented networks, ‘bringing a large-scale 5G deployment near’.
Tele2’s agreements with Huawei and Ericsson were both signed at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona. The cellco, part-owned by Rostelecom, is Russia’s fourth largest in terms of customers.