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VMO2 extends partnership with Ericsson

16 Mar 2023

UK-based Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) and Swedish vendor Ericsson have announced a renewed network partnership agreement under which the pair aim to bring ‘greater 4G and 5G coverage and capacity to major cities and towns across the UK’. In a press release announcing the development, the companies said they had agreed a new ‘multi-million GBP’ contract to deploy the latest products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Additional service upgrades and small cell solutions are included as part of the network modernisation, which will see VMO2’s subscribers in major UK cities – including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast – benefit from enhanced mobile capacity, improved coverage, faster speeds and better 4G/5G experiences.

Under the deal, the latest generation of Ericsson quad-technology baseband, multiband and industry-leading 5G Massive MIMO radio AIR 3258 will be deployed across VMO2’s network, bringing enhanced 5G performance to end-users, as well as increased energy efficiency of the network. A reduction of up to 30% in energy use is anticipated in comparison to the previous generation of radio, while a 40% reduction in weight and volume will reportedly minimise impact on site infrastructure and help accelerate network deployment. Meanwhile, as part of the newly-inked agreement it has also been suggested that VMO2 could become one of Europe’s first Communications Service Providers (CSPs) in Europe to trial Ericsson’s Cloud RAN solution, offering a seamless evolution to cloud-native technologies and open network architecture.

Commenting, Jeanie York, chief technology officer at VMO2, said: ‘This multi-million pound investment in our network will mean our customers can benefit from more reliable and faster services at the same time as reducing overall carbon emissions. Building on our long-standing relationship with Ericsson allows us to deliver improvements quickly and efficiently, helping us move rapidly towards the future-proof networks our customers expect.’

United Kingdom, Ericsson, O2 UK, Virgin Media O2 (VMO2)

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