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Ericsson gets the rest of BT’s Huawei swap-out, of course

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson will deal with the urban side of EE’s RAN, with the only alternative Nokia having already won the rest of the Huawei swap-out.

With BT compelled by law to find alternatives to Huawei in its mobile network, after it gave a bunch of it to Nokia a month ago, there was only ever going to be one winner of the rest. Ericsson’s focus will be on the UK’s major cities, where it will be responsible for the 5G RAN as well as swapping out Huawei in the legacy networks.

“BT has a clear direction in how it wants to drive its 5G ambitions in the UK and we are delighted to be their partner in delivering that,” said Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm. “Having already been selected to partner in 5G Core, we are pleased to strengthen the relationship further with this deal that will deliver high performance and secure 5G to their customers across the UK’s major cities.“

“Our customers deserve the best network and we are delivering,” said BT CEO Philip Jansen. “We’re the UK leader in 5G and are excited to be working with Ericsson as a key partner to maintain that market leadership. Through this deal, we will continue to drive the best mobile experiences for our customers.”

While this is good for Ericsson, it barely qualifies as news at all since, for all the sudden talk of NEC, there were so few alternatives available. “This announcement is unsurprising in light of the recent restrictions placed on Huawei by the UK government and follows an earlier deal signed between BT and Ericsson related to the core part of its 5G network,” said Kester Mann of CCS Insight.

“For Ericsson, this represents another important contract win as it again steps into the void increasingly being left by Huawei. But it also raises concerning questions about vendor diversity as operators become reliant on a seemingly ever-diminishing number of leading suppliers. Vendor choice is important for a healthy ecosystem; it can spur innovation and help bring down costs.”

The exact split of the work between Ericsson and Nokia remains unclear. Ericsson says it will eventually be managing around half of BT’s total 5G traffic, but there was talk of Nokia winning 63% of the BT 5G work, so maybe it depends how you measure it. What is clear, however, is that Huawei has won precisely 0% of it.

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4 comments

  1. Avatar Gabriel Bernier 28/10/2020 @ 3:27 pm

    Easy to win bids when there’s only two guys going together… After cancelling the only company Who was able to do a better job for half the Price…

  2. Avatar happierman 29/10/2020 @ 6:42 pm

    half price? Seems you are a insider.

  3. Avatar Jenny Tan 30/10/2020 @ 4:45 am

    Time to stay away from BT. Think they will not have any profits in the next few years. Firstly costs to unravel the 4G infra then build the 5G layer on top of the new 4G layer. With all these going on Europe will fall further behind the 5G world just like the US, further n further behind the Technology leap. There is no guarantee of quality when one is not working with the most suitable n best. Let’s see how it plays out nxt year. The people/consumer will reveal all.

  4. Avatar Zubair Shah 31/10/2020 @ 11:42 am

    i think,overall europe Mobile operator face Profit cut issue due to Covid-19 and they still undecided for 5G roll out.
    As per 5G trial, Huawei results much better due to best Massive MiMO , SU MIMO features.

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