Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson has been selected to deploy O2 UK’s 5G radio access network (RAN) even farther across the UK, upgrading existing 2G/3G/4G sites as part of a substantial network modernisation programme. In a press release confirming the expansion plan, Ericsson said that, following the launch of O2’s 5G commercial network in October last year, the extended partnership between the two companies will include hardware, software and service upgrades in the West of the UK, which it expects to bring ‘greater coverage, voice and data capacity’.
Products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio will be used in the deployment, including new multiband and wide-band 5G radios, and new 5G-optimised basebands to build sustainable sites in preparation for future increases in fifth-generation network coverage and capacity. Further, an innovation cluster will also be developed as a collaboration platform to evaluate and test future mobile architecture, technology and systems as the mobile network operator (MNO) builds further towards a possible migration to 5G Standalone (SA) architecture. Meanwhile, the Swedish firm noted that it will continue to support O2 with the rollout of commercial 5G in other cities, towns and locations across the country, bringing enhanced mobile broadband services and increased connectivity to ‘millions’.
Commenting, O2 UK’s chief technical officer, Brendan O’Reilly, said: ‘We are pleased to be moving forward with Ericsson as one of our primary vendors for our 5G rollout. Telecommunications has never been more important in keeping the country connected, and we look forward to bringing the enhanced capabilities of 5G to our customers.’ Arun Bansal, President of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, added: ‘We are delighted to be continuing our long-term partnership with O2 with this 5G network evolution. We are proud to expand our world-class 5G coverage, leading the modernisation of UK networks as a reliable partner for years to come.’
In related news, the MNO has announced that its 5G network is now live across parts of 60 towns and cities in the UK, up from 20 at the start of 2020, which puts it ahead of its target to be live in 50 locations by the summer. Additionally, O2 UK says it has successfully extended the rollout of 4G-based LTE-M to 10,000 sites across the country.