Ericsson and Huawei virtue signal over Vodafone 5G launch

Kit vendors Ericsson and Huawei were both quick to bask in the reflected glory of Vodafone UK’s 5G network launch but Nokia kept quiet.

Ericsson proudly declared Vodafone’s 5G network will be powered by its technology – specifically the Ericsson Radio System. The company made an appearance at the launch event and both Ericsson and Vodafone provided canned comments in the press release that were so generic you don’t need to read them. Suffice it to say 5G is a really big deal and both companies are really good at it.

Marielle Lindgren, UK & Ireland CEO of Ericsson, did at least attempt to say something noteworthy. “The UK has taken a leading role in launching 5G services early while much of Europe lags behind, slowed by local regulation,” she said. “This early advantage is likely pay dividends, with superior connectivity forecasted to make a contribution of around £300bn to the UK economy by 2030 according to independent research commissioned by Ericsson.”

This seems to be a dig at European legislators and regulators along the lines of consistent public whinges from Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm, who thinks Europe is lagging behind the rest of the developed world due to excessive regulation and stodgy bureaucracy. It must be really sticking in the throats of the European Union that the UK has got its 5G act together quicker than its core members.

Meanwhile Huawei was sure to highlight the fact that it’s far from shut out of the UK 5G market. “We are proud to be helping Vodafone open up a new world of seamless opportunities with their launch of 5G mobile services in the UK,” said Huawei SVP Victor Zhang. “This reinforces the UK as a 5G leader and builds on our 18 year history of supporting the digital economy here.”

This will just be the RAN, of course, with Huawei involvement in the core out of bounds for any country interested in staying in the good books of the US, but that’s still more than Nokia can claim. As reported by Light Reading earlier this year Nokia is being phased out of the Vodafone UK network, which explains its sullen silence on this matter.

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